Friday, January 02, 2009

I'm a Saint (witness provided)

I am leaving on a cruise with my sweetie Sunday- her first, so you'd think I'd blog about that, but I am not a get-excited-before-the-big-day kind of person. I usually don't get excited for a rock show until the day of the show when I am on the way there.

Maybe I am just tired, a bit slappy, but my thoughts are drifting to a night I spent hanging out with my charge Jack he of the autism, a couple of weeks ago.

It was one of those great nights, where I am felt a tinge of guilt that I get paid at all for such a great "job". Jack was awesome. He started out a little sluggish, not really responsive, a tad out of it. When he is like this, I usually stay closer to home and don;t do anything too dramatic, out of experience. But, one of my favorite bands was playing a rare local gig, so I said "to hell with it, I'll gamble." Jack likes the band, so I had hopes he would be into it, but you never know with this dude.

As we walked into the joint, Jack loosened up a bit. It was at a place in Natick called "The Chicken Bone". The admission is free, and they send a bucket around (I believe they called it the chicken bucket or something to that affect). The idea being, if youlike the band, you throw in some cash.

Pete, lead singer and guitarist of "The Peasants", started the show with a welcome to all and several thank yous, as well as "this is a Christmas song" before blasting right into it with "Frat Boy". Frat Boy is a riotous, angry, accusative finger, pointing at collegiate imbeciles and their behavior.

It has an infectious riff and great choruses, pauses, grunts and guitar licks... everything you'd want in a great rock 'n roll song. It didn't take Jack five seconds to get into it, and he "danced for the entire 90 minute set. When I got him home, his T-shirt was soaking through and so was the sweatshirt he wore over it. He loved every second of the show.

Jack has a sort of lurching, lunge, a violent back-and-forth juke that is all energy, and looks fun as hell. I keep waiting for Denise Austin or some other fitness guru to steal it and put it into a workout tape.

When Jack is like this, he is a pure delight. My job is super easy, and actually really fun. I love seeing him happy, and I am even more ecstatic about him behaving himself and not causing any nonsense. I simply tucked my forefinger loosely into his sweatshirt pouch so I could keep a bit of a line on him. It was very crowded, and he jerks back and forth so quickly that I was afraid he would knock a tray of drinks out of a waitress' hands.

Three quarters of the way through the show, this older lady, about three margaritas past making sense, says to me, "iire vfsah sfdh" amid a driving rock tune.

Naturally, I responded with, "what???"

"You're a SAINT," she croaked, giving me a slight buzz with her breath.

I shook my head and nodded a smile, turning back to the show. After the show, on our way out to the car, she added, "You're a SAINT, but you don't KNOW IT!"

I smiled and picked up the pace back to the Suburu, but in truth, it was what I always wanted- credit I don't deserve for something I haven't done... and for a while, I thought it had been to much to ask for.

Years ago, when I started with Jack, I probably wouldn't have admitted it, because it would have been news to me, but some part of me always thought young single women would see me taking care of Jack, and admire my patience, tolerance, and kindness toward a handicapped person.

In my head, they would say something like, "Oh look at how WONDERFUL he is with that disabled gentleman... I can only imagine how fantastic he'd be with our children! And golly, if he's that patient with this character, he must be unreal in bed!"

I'm not sure how I came to that connection in my thought process... I guess that was always an erroneous assumption I prayed women would make with regard some random, unrelated character issue. Something like this, "Oh good heavens, he can change a tire, bake brownies, tie a shoe (fill in the blank, really_______), I guess I should maul him immediately, that's a sure sign of good lovin'!"

In retrospect, I believe many women do have visions when they see you caring for a handicapped person, but instead of white picket fences, they envision a third floor walk up apartment, and the used Ford Escort they'll be using to get to the 2nd and 3rd jobs they'll have to take to make ends meet.

But my dreams came true that Thursday evening at The Chicken Bone when an intoxicated woman who could easily have given birth to me years ago, and bench-press me today gave me credit for being an angel. I knew it. That made the last seven and a half years totally worth it.

2 Comments:

Blogger GB said...

I enjoyed that post. Well done.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Dot Dwyer said...

Hey ! I drive a used Ford and I work 2 or 3 jobs, I don't need no social working man to keep me oppressed !!!!

12:33 PM  

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