8:15 p.m. - 2002-04-03
Today while I was in getting in line for coffee in Berkeley I met a woman. She was standing near the end of the line, but to the side enough that I asked her if she was in fact a part of it. She shook her head at me and waved me in and as we made eye contact a small strand of a connection was made.
“I have plastic over my heart.” She said to me, and I realized that she was not just an old woman, but an old schizophrenic homeless woman.
As she reached under her shirt to shift the plastic bag that was, in fact, over her heart I made one of the split second decisions we are all faced with that actually defy the definition of the word. I kept her eyes for that extra millisecond that communicated that I was open to her.
We still all communicate like animals, and she smelled my receptiveness, as thin as it was, with the same intuition that makes us jump when we see a snake or even a piece of rope that looks like a snake.
The line was barely moving, and as she began to talk to me I measured the choices I had. Ignore her and face forward. Engage her enough to humor her until I was out of range.
The third choice, one that I have made before but not often, is the one that unfolded. I entered her world while lamenting the possibility of having to make a forceful escape moments later.
She told me about the horrors of a conspiracy in Philadelphia PA. It seems that there is a warehouse run by people whose sole purpose is to torment individuals by letting them starve to death over and over again. They have death timed so they can bring these victims back to life just as they are slipping away into hope of an after life filled with the promise of a planet just as our own, but beautiful and happy and free of misery.
The man in charge wears a beret and an evil smile as he delights in the torture of these prisoners of life. He is under the mistaken impression that he is good looking. He is not.
The victims who lay in the tremendous pain of starvation, their guts and insides writhing and burning with hunger, include a 7-year-old girl and a large Russian man among others. The cycle is three days. Every three days they die of starvation, the little girl has died over 300 times already; an old man is well into the thousands. As they get close to death they rejoice in the hope that they will be released from this world, but the man with the beret disappoints them. He has a machine, an evil craft that hovers above them at their precise time of death, foiling their escape into the beautiful planet.
It begins again.
The large Russian man would be able to stop them, but they wait until he sleeps.
The police have been notified, but they are all dog people in Philly. All the police like to rape people on the tops of buildings. They are all chauvinists.
They came for her last night. It wasn’t the first time, but she is much too strong for them. She is not even worried that they will ever get her, not even with the flying invisible crafts and machines that they point at her neck. She fights them off.
That little girl though, she wants to help the little girl and the nice, tall Russian man. She is considering letting them take her next time, because, you see she has the power to create earthquakes when she is frightened. If they took her there she could create a concentrated earthquake that would affect only the evil warehouse. She could destroy the warehouse and the evil craft and the man with the beret who thinks that he is good looking but is really ugly. More importantly, she could let the little girl and the tall Russian man and the rest who are suffering the torment of starvation over and over again, she could let them die and enter that beautiful planet just like this one, but beautiful. Just like this one, but free of the pain of life.
My coffee came up and I politely told her that I had to get it. I gave her a dollar and saw several women at a table laugh at my predicament.
They laughed at my situation, feeling sorry for my having been pulled into her world for so long. They laughed as they sat drinking the $0.05 worth of water that had been run through the grounds of beans that they paid $3.00 for. They pulled me back into “our” world, where it mattered that we drank that brand of bean ground water instead of another. No berets, but we had all of us picked out our clothing very carefully. We all thought that we were good looking.
As I left I told her to take care of herself and be careful. She told me not to worry about her, but to pray for the little girl. I lied and told her that I would.
Then I walked on to the planning department to take care of the very important business of making sure that very rich people are allowed to spend very much money on a very expensive bathroom.
I’m not certain who has it worse.
On a lighter note I noticed, for the first time, that the laundry-mat next to my work is called “Da House Of Suds”. They have a website.