Sunday, February 04, 2007

A few bucks for things she needed

So a few of us are up at the church building this morning, getting lunch ready. Woman walks in and tells me about how she got jumped at the bus station. Shows me her broken glasses. Tells me how the nice bus people reinstated her ticket, thank the Lord, but now she needs some help for the trip to Dallas.

Sorry, I tell her. I don't ever give anybody cash.

Which I don't.

Buying food instead of giving people cash may take a bit longer, but it's darn hard to trade Chicken Express for drugs or booze. And I was pretty sure that this woman wasn't headed to Dallas, but to the crack house down the street. Her story wasn't very good. Her heart wasn't in it. She didn't want to lie to me. Really, he just wanted a couple bucks to buy whatever it was she needed to make her feel better for a little while, to forget whatever she needed to forget.

So she turned down my offer of food to take with her, because food wasn't really what she needed. She left looking tired and sad, telling me, as she walked out the door, that she hoped I would have a nice day.

But I wouldn't have a nice day. I had called her bluff, and for some reason, I felt pretty bad about it.

I used to think giving people drug money was patently bad, but now I'm starting to wonder. Maybe some people legitmately need drugs. And rather than pretending that what they need is food, maybe I should think about offering them ... safer drugs. I mean, really: life looks pretty bleak sometimes, and we cope the best way we know how. Street kids in Central America sniff glue, because it makes their hunger go away. Maybe Texans do meth, crack, or whatever because it's the relief they have access to.

In other words, maybe people do meth because they can't get Prozac.

5 comments:

Connor said...

Reminds me of many years ago, talking to friends about how our fellow schoolmates were going out and drinking on Friday night in order to escape life, while we were going out to the movies or whatnot, cutting loose and having fun, for what reason, well, to escape life.

Shane said...

I feel the same way about dota, except it makes me angry instead of providing escape.

Matthew said...

So you play dota because you want to feel angry? I'm so confused. =)

Shane said...

no, my intent is to make someone else feel angry (or ashamed, humiliated, fill in the blank) and me to feel justified (or superior, awesomely good) but it never ends up that way. Yet I can't stop playing. . .

Paul said...

Hi Matt!

For sure the "war on drugs" isn't working...