My third job of the day brought me to 9th and Allston in Berkeley. An up and coming area where gentrification has really turned the neighborhood around. As I pulled up I saw him, a man I had seen before in the area. This time he was laying on the sidewalk as opposed to sitting on a front step. He called out me saying, “I remember you. Your son is messed up.” I replied, “Yeah. How are you doing my friend?”?
The last time I saw him, he was drinking a big beer bottle but it was a warm day. Today, he had a spent beer can with cigarette butts surrounding his area. We took up our talk where we left off. I said, “My friend, it looks as if you don’t know how far you’ve slid. You need to turn around and see how far you’ve fallen.” He replied, “I know I know.” It’s always I know I know… “I don’t want to be a jerk but dude you need to take care of yourself. Please for your own sake.” He nodded and said, “I know.”
He asked me how Matt was doing and I told him. He said, “He’s ill and you need to keep trying.” Tears were in my eyes. At one point he said, “I need to go to an AA meeting but I just don’t make it.” I replied, “If I could help you I would but you need to do this. Your children love and care about you. Be good to yourself.” “I know.” With that I closed the cross connect box door and wished him well… This too will pass