An Evening with the Crazy Jesus Lady

Downtown Denver never seems to disappoint me, especially on a weekend. I hopped the light rail to LoDo (Lower Downtown) Friday night to search out the buildings listed as meeting spots for the Denver Young Republicans Group, a sideshow event coming soon I don’t want to miss. After spying out the location  and marking it down in my notes for future reference I made my way via shuttle  up the street toward Colfax and Broadway to catch the bus back home and spy in on the Occupy zombies to see what they might have rumbling on the streets. As I neared that idyllic setting of homeless bastards and zealous protesters I noticed half a dozen police lights bouncing off the buildings right in the middle of the Broadway/Colfax intersection; a fire engine raced along a street parallel to mine and beat me there as I jumped off the shuttle and forged ahead to see what the problem could be. This looked different than the police riot geared assaults that  typically  show up to this locale. I had no time or patience to stop and pay attention to the three kids handcuffed by cops outside McDonalds, my interest was drawn to this mess of police cars, fire engines and EMT trucks up ahead.

A man who appeared to be in his 70’s was hit by a turning car, right there at the meridian of downtown, his clothes still in the street from where the paramedics had cut them off to attend to any unforseen bleeding injuries. His head was gashed open and spewed a large amount of blood and brain fluid on the asphalt; in typically poor taste fashion, a variety of onlookers raced to take shots with their phones and post it on YouTube.  I pulled in closer to get a good look at the actual scene of the accident and there she stood on the curb next to some spectators-the Crazy Jesus Lady. She has become a familiar face to me, has warranted a few blog entries from me in fact. I walked up and started chatting with her as if we had known each other all our lives. She filled me in on more details about the accident which she fell privy to from her canvas tent across the street. After a small briefing on the particulars of this tragedy she asked if I could spare some change for a cup of coffee. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to get inside her head a bit, find out what drove this person to be part of the Occupy tribe. I told her I’d buy her a large coffee and a pack of cigarettes which held her attention. The one common denominator I’ve found with the street folk is their constant pursuit of a smoke. They always have a half (or less) a butt tucked somewhere to ward of the nicotine demon and smokes are as good as gold in Occupyland.

We both shuttled back down 16th Street to the Seven Eleven where I purchased her a huge coffee and a pack of Pall Mall. The sun had long since gone down and the cold began to set in on our bones. We were both bundled well for the streets but layered protection will only take you so far in the fight against the elements. It seems all the regular folks on the street know here and she knows everybody out there. We were constantly stopped by hugging compadres she sees on the streets of downtown. A closer kinship is hard to find in most circles.

I told her about the bust I almost paused for outside McDonalds (there are three McDonalds restaurants along the 16th Street walk).  “Doesn’t surprise me” she shrugged. “That Micky D’s there I call McPot, the one down there is McCrack and the one and the very end I call McPills.”. Apparently some new menu selections I was unfamiliar with in the LoDo eateries. I tried to guide our conversation toward the Occupy movement but we continued to be interrupted by street hustlers, drug dealers, cigarette moochers and other street vagrants. What a colorful assortment of people I was introduced to by my street hostess. I became involved in a variety of lives, old wandering souls that I won over with no more than a stick of gum, an insanely talented man who played blues guitar in an alley between buildings who had fingers like oiled stone, bicycling pot dealers who gave me their trust simply because I was in the presence of the Crazy Jesus Lady. Between the interruptions we did manage to converse back and forth. She asked me my purpose behind coming down and infiltrating the Occupy scene She cocked that semi-crazed gaze my way and asked “What drives you-God or the Devil?” Before I could respond she said “You know what Devil spelled backwards spells, don’t you? Lived.” I had no fucking idea what that meant so I replied “You know what God spelled backward spells?” She smiled and said “Yeah, dog, which means he must be a real bitch at times.” That was the end of my philosophical/religious viewpoints with her.

We talked a bit more as we worked our way back to the scene of the accident which was still being combed over by crime lab techs and police officers. She told me she was originally from Las Vegas and if she had the money she would get a ticket and go back there but for now she was stuck living on the street. A lot of the people at the Occupy encampment are caught up in trying to find a better life and are now stuck in the vortex of protest which leaves them stranded. Their most immediate desire is for warm blankets and food, clean water and cigarettes. When I parted ways with her to catch my bus she promised the fight would continue and her hope was that the movement would gain more support soon. A lot of people there are losing faith and wonder if anyone out there still believes in them. I still believe in them, I must because I continue to venture down to Broadway and Colfax with sticks of gum or assorted snacks, coffee and smokes. I tell myself it’s not just for the entertainment value, I have to believe in them. Someone has to.


2 Responses to “An Evening with the Crazy Jesus Lady”

  1. 06/25/2014 at 7:54 pm

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