Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Jesus (Pronounced with a HEY-ZEUS)

Jesus (pronounced HEY-ZEUS) was the homeless man that lived under the porch of the guy who lives a few doors down from me. Very rarely do I see the guy who lives INSIDE the building, but I know he’s really old, even older than Jesus, who appeared to be the better part of 60 or 70. Apparently the resident had some kind of agreement with Jesus, whereby Jesus got to sleep under the front porch, and the resident got . . . a lot of Jesus’ junk all over his front yard? I’m not sure how the guy benefited from the agreement, but the residents on the 1500 block of west Nelson street benefitted from seeing Jesus’ smiling face as he rode SLOWLY by on his bicycle. I liked saying hello to him as I walked by, even when the conversation would go like this:

Me: ‘Morning Jesus. How you doing?
Jesus: I’m broke, man.

Damn, Jesus! I know this! I guess I can’t blame him. “How you doing?” is kind of a dumb question when it’s asked of a guy living under a porch, but come on!! His other annoying thing was turning down food. My roommate gave him a patty melt once and he’s all, “I don’t like patty melts.” Yeah, okay, but I’ve seen you rooting through the garbage in the alleys for a snack, so where do you come off being so God damned picky?

I’m speaking of him in the past tense because I don’t know what happened to him. A couple months ago he disappeared. If winter were approaching I would say he went south like a bird, but summer is coming. Summer in Chicago is beautiful, even if you’re a bum, hell, especially if you’re a bum. Well, whether Jesus is dead, relocated, or whatever, he’s more than a bum. I’m not sure what else he’s about, but I know he was a human being and a fixture of our neighborhood for who knows how long. Jesus, wherever you are, may you never sleep in the cold, may you forever have a dollar in your pocket, and may your sandwiches NEVER be patty melts.

8 comments:

Steph said...

Dr Ken, that was a really nice post. I hope he shows up soon.

Tara's World said...

Yummmm Patty Melts

Jenny said...

My hope for him is that he has relocated to Diversey Rock n' Bowl and has begun to fashion a purple jumpsuit & hairnet.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Steph- I'm going to keep my eyes open and my ear to the ground. That and I'm going to watch for him asking for change outside the Dunkin' Donuts.

World- See, YOU woulnd't turn one down, and you can afford a meal. The brass on that guy . . .

Jenny- "NOBODY F' with the Jesus." Jenny, you are one of my most loyal commenters these days! thanks!

Canadian Uncle said...

Dr. Ken,

I was supposed to be your uncle until fate intervened, so I had to move to Canada.

There is a play written by Alan Bennett called, "The Lady in the Van" which your posting reminded me of. I saw it a few years ago in London -- Maggie Smith played the vagrant and was amazing in the role. You should see if you can find a copy of the script. It would be a poignant read, I am certain.

I hope Jesus has found his way to his happy place and I hope some deserving soul got that patty melt that he rejected. You and I both know at least one person who would turn down a patty melt (and many other food items) even if she were homeless.

Cheers!

Dirk the Feeble said...

Wow, he turned down a patty melt? I don't like patty melts much either but if someone offered me a free one I would totally grub down on that shit!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Dirk, it's not my fav. either, but I tend to agree. I have a home, and I still woulnd't look a gift-patty melt in the mouth, er, eh bread? Whatever.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Canadian, I missed your comment. So sorry.

The play sounds cool. I think a play about Jesus would rule, especially if it turned out we were pronouncing his name wrong and he was really the son of God. "And behold he turned the Patty Melt into a hoagie . . ."