This is Kenny. He goes to my tiny church.
And I just really, really love him.
He gave me a CD he burned a few weeks ago, with all of his favorite songs. Turns out, most of them are my favorite songs, too.
He reads at mass sometimes, just like me.
Once, when I got back from El Salvador, he saw me at church and whispered me a poem about maybe sailing and ships and coming home again.
And he was homeless for a time. I suspect that people who happen across him might still thing he is homeless. He has an apartment now, and wears clean clothes.
I value his insights into our parish community.
Someone told me that he once approached the drug dealers who sell to the mentally unstable on our block–to chide them into better practice. I don’t think they listened to him, but I love image of Kenny trying to father some wayward-folk into making better choices…even though drug dealers are often dangerous. Kenny still tried, though.
And he is in a lot of pain right now, due to medical stuff.
And I still just love him, you know?
Today, after the service, we walked out of the doors at the same time, into the bright sunlight. And I said, “Oh! The sun is out! Maybe I’ll go for a walk!”
And Kenny said he was walking to the coffee shop up the road, and I said I’d walk with him.
Kenny has a hobble-y gait, but with an air of strength, still. He’s slower than me, though, and stopped every so often.
He talked to me about the synagogue up the street (we have plans, now, to go together on a Friday), our church choir (he’s forever frustrated that Tim won’t join), some other stuff. He bought me a banana, since I didn’t want a coffee (I don’t drink the stuff). And he drank his coffee, and I ate my banana.
Apparently one of his friends just died, so we talked about that, too.
And then my lunch hour was almost over, so I walked back.
Life is so fragile and fleeting, and I’m mostly reminded by that when I’m with someone, really with them. Kenny is grappling with the deep topic of eternal rest as some call it, due to his friend and other stuff.
This is life, though.
And, given the chance of walking around the block alone or eating a banana in a hipster coffee shop with Kenny…coffee shop. Every time.