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9:36 a.m. - 2006-03-05
The lonely young man, and two unlikely angels.
Six and I were all on a kick about hanging low, seeing a movie, eating some dinner, and maybe a quiet evening in with close friends around us. Nothing eventful. Just maybe a few games, listening to music, chatting for a couple hours, then home.

But Sully's house was packed with his sister's friends and family, and it sounded loud and obnoxious, which normally would have been our thing, but last night we were both feeling reflective and in need of quiet.

So, bereft of a place to go, we hit The Bar for one or two and planned to go home early and call it a night.

But, things happened.

Things always happen.

But, THINGS happened.

We walked in on a drunk swishing a knife (not that we noticed) on a couple of close knit regulars. Apparently, he was being a prick and was asked to leave, and took exception. So cops were called, he was thown (or placed, I really didn't see) onto the sidewalk, patted down, and interrogated. His melodramatic girlfriend made a big fuss, stories were taken down and recorded, threats were made, and poof. He was let go. But if he were to approach The Bar again, he would be arrested.

Now folks, this truely isn't the nature of this particular bar. We have toothless old men, the type who come in at 11am and drink till close, regular drunks who are high functioning, but require daily doses of alcohol to stay sane, and there are the assorted asshats, assholes and dipshits who make up the color of The Bar. But we don't normally cater to jack knife swinging dickwads who threaten our patrons because they are being kicked out.

We do, however, make the biggest, ugliest scariest asshole in the place exit the dickwad from The Bar in order to protect the other patrons until such a time as the police make their way there and arrest the mongrel.

But that's not all folks.

There was also some Soap Opera scale drama going on behind the scenes that stole the spotlight.

Yes, dear Paulie helped himself to a heaping platter of pain in the ass when he took in an ex-girlfriend from years ago who was kicked out of her home by her husband and Paulie felt sorry for her. He has a very soft heart.

But, unfortunately, he and this other girl have been seeing eachother on the sly, and secret little relationship that even their closest friends didn't know about, and that girl freaked out, then the house sharing girl freaked out on her, then all hell broke loose.

And poor Paulie (I know, I know. But he really is a sucker due to his vast resources of optimism about people) was caught in the middle of the biggest cat fight in the history of The Bar. And if you knew this guy, you would really be shocked. He's just so... not cat fight material. He's handsome, nice, etc. But, he's not a player, and he's not manipulative. He just sort of exists.

Oh. But that's not all either.

You know how Six is always talking about taking in broken rednecks and wanting to fix them? She collects them like pets, because, much like Paulie, she has one of those soft, optimistic hearts that believes that people can change and just need a little TLC to make it happen. And OK, sometimes it works, but 99.9% of the time, and asshole is an asshole is an asshole and they will break your heart.

Anyway, I seem to have adopted a little pet of my own. Well...not a LITTLE pet, but a 6 foot two, developed, big ole pet of a young man of 22.

I met him about a month ago. He was the one I assigned required reading to, if you remember. The one who aspired to be a preacher, yet wanted to fornicate and drink? Yeah, him. He came stumbling into The Bar at about 1pm, and could barely move his legs or lips he was so freaking drunk. And Shreck just sort of looked at him, knowing that this guy wasn't going anywhere any time soon, but that he had to leave, because The Bar doesn't provide cots and blankets for drunks who get themselves too drunk to go home.

That's when I recognized him and stood with Shreck evaluating the best course of action. Both of us felt that this kid was basically good and harmless. Just a good ole boy who had drunk himself too much and needed assistance. Sometimes that happens when you're in a bad place and your young and things just happen.

Anyway, we called a cab, but it was going to take over an hour. And we weren't about to let this kid walk home by himself. He'd be mugged, at best.

So, Shreck and I agreed to be his guardian angels for the evening. I wasn't drinking, so I was designated to drive Shreck's truck, because this kid was so big, getting him in and out of my little bitty car would have been impossible, even with Shreck's help. So we drove him the couple of blocks home, and made sure he got in safe.

I think he thought we were going to rob him or something, because he looked nervous. So I patted him on the shoulder, and told him to take care of himself. Then Shreck told him some manly things. Then we drove back to the bar, me and Shreck, a little more bonded than we've ever been. Feeling good that we might have saved a life.

I worry about this kid. He has nobody to lean on. He's young enough to still need him mom and dad now and then, yet he doesn't have them. He's lonely, and on his own in a scary ass world. With nobody to set an example or mentor him through these tough years that will make or break him. Its easy to be broken. Especially in the rougher parts of The City that he navigates.

So, pray for him. Send good thoughts his way. Whatever it is you do, please take a moment to send him whatever you have to give. Maybe, even the cynical Zen can make a difference. Maybe not. But, even I can be surprised.


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