Monday, August 20, 2007

A Forty Ounce of Fun

Late evening found Rosa and me down at the shopping center. The heat of a summer's sun still emanated from the parking lot and sidewalks long after it had begun to set. Clara, the homeless woman, was down there. She looked chipper and upbeat today -- a spring in her step.

"How are ya'll?" she asked sounding so southern as she walked by.

"Fine," I said as I smiled. Rosa said the same.

"She sure is happy," Rosa told me after she had passed.

"You saw what she had in that bag, didn't you?"

"A forty?"

"Yep," I replied. "A forty ounce of beer. She must have gotten some more money today."

I know that feeling all too well. I once lived for the day my disability check would be deposited into my checking account. That little debit card would be burning a hole in my wallet. I would climb aboard my motorcycle and rush to the convenience store for beer.

"I sure could use a beer right now as well, but it would be a bad influence on you," Rosa then told me.

"Yeah, I've had a really rough day and probably couldn't resist joining you," I replied, smiling. "I wish I was like you and could just have a few and quit."

"I love the smell of beer," Rosa said wistfully. "Especially when the can is almost empty. It smells so... hoppy and barley-ish."

I laughed. I don't ever remember smelling my beer. I was too interested in downing as many as I could in as short a time. I never had a good sense of smell, anyway, due to my schizophrenia.

"I'm proud of you," Rosa then said. "I'm proud of you for being a man about it."

Little did she know how I struggled earlier in the day. It was some tough times to say the least.

"Dad told me the same thing on the phone when I called him," I replied.

"Well, it is true," she said. "You don't see it, but you have changed so much these past few months."

I needed to hear that. Sometimes, I still feel like a small child. Scared, hopeless, and lost. It helps to hear someone saying that I am different. That I am more of a man. I felt happy as we drove home with the thought that something good did come out of this day. "This too shall pass," is what I always try to tell myself when I get the doldrums and the crazies. I will sleep well tonight.


Cheryl said...

You are different! And, you're a great person. Everyone who knows you knows that. You manage the trials of your life so well. You just need to trust that there'll be good days after the bad.

Josie Two Shoes said...

Andrew! How delightful it was to have you stop by my blog! I love reading your blog so much - I stop here several times each day just to see what's up! :-) You inspire me in your honesty and candor, and your willingness to let us learn thru your experiences. I am thrilled with the way I see your life changing for the better, you inspire me!

I think your writing skills are AWESOME - I always feel like I am right there with you! Thanks for sharing your life with us! I consider you a blog friend too - people who aren't afraid to be real are the ones who touch my heart!

Josie Two Shoes said...

Sometimes we all feel scared, hopeless and lost, Andrew - even those of us who put on the bravest faces. It is human to sometimes be unsure of ourselves, not just a feeling for small children. Living life is hard work, and you are doing great! I see big changes in you in the months that I've been reading. Be proud of yourself - never doubt that you are a man. I know a few I'd gladly trade you for! :-)

AngelicScripts said...

I've just started blogging...I was on Livejournal for a while, but I was only truly honest on there when I was angry or extreamly depressed. I'm in the process of changing that now.

I'm starting over on blogger and I keep getting drawn here because your writing is so full of hope and rare clarity even when you're backsliding. I truly admire that, Andrew, thank you for sharing :)

AngelicScripts said...

Oh, and I like the smell of beer as well. Its the same with wine. My body probably only allows two beers, or two glasses of wine, in a sitting because my senses overload themselves on smells, colors and other things that really have nothing to do with alchohol consumption.

Cmate said...

:) I like this post...


good night, good morning, happy dreams and may it rain for you guys today.

I love the smell of beer too. Ahh, you think you'd ever let Rosa post something on here? She has a way with words it seems. :)

C.A. said...

I completely understand how youre feeling, my friend. I hope you know that there are those of us out here who've shared in those feelings you describe.