There is a young man in our small town who is not coherent most of the time. He sits outside of either the 7-11 or a local Shoppers Drug Mart store.
He mumbles. He rants. He curses. He scares most people.
I have given him money. Not a lot. A buck or two. I give it with the understanding that what he does with it is his business. I know of someone who asked him once if he wanted to go to Subway for a sandwich. He said yes and then walked a completely different route than my friend to get to the restaurant and took his sandwich and left.
The second time I gave him money I introduced myself and asked him his name. He said it was D.C. Just initials. No name.
All he ever says is thanks…. until today.
I got to work in the same complex as the 7-11 he sits in front of at 7:15 this morning. Parked my car and walked to the sidewalk to get the company mail from the mailbox.
As I walked back to my car to grab my purse, coffee mug and lunch bag D.C. started yelling from across the lot.
“Hey, hey” he yelled as he came toward me. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
“Happy New year D.C.” I said. “How are you?”
“Good, Happy New Year”
I am not sure what else he said but it was a civil conversation and I joked about being old and managing to stay up until 2:00 am. He laughed a little.
“Well I have to go to work or I will be late. Take care D.C.”
By the time I got to the door of my work he was back over by the 7-11 and he was again pacing back and forth loudly ranting about something.
I don’t even know what to think about this exchange. I have never heard of him harming anyone. Did he just have a moment of lucidity and recognized me? Did he recognize me? I have never seen him approach anyone before. He is always eyes down.
My heart is sad when I see such lost soul. Mental illness is a brutal thing whether it is organic or brought on by drug use. Again I don’t know his situation but because his routine is so set I don’t think it is drugs.
So many people refuse help that they desperately need. And for many others the help they need is not available.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring.