Lorie and Her missing 66


Today’s sermon from the Church is about how sometimes it’s not about keeping the gun out of your mouth, it’s about keeping the gun out of someone else.

I was strolling along for my Friday night venture, my own personal  ’53 Stations of the Tokaido’. I had been meaning to wander into all the local pubs within staggering distance for a while now and tonight seemed a good night for it. My biggest curiosity was for a place called Arnolds; when ever I look far down 10th street to the east and see a group of cop cars parked to the curb with flashers on, they are more often than not in front of Arnolds. I was ready to see what kind of crew would show up – every time I’ve driven by the place they seem to have some hard core souls out there. My trip to Arnolds ended up being secondary to my night’s event because along the way there I came upon this woman who reminded me that it’s not always about me.

I saw this thin framed, large chested woman from a good block and a half away and could tell by the cadence in her step that she was not just drunk, she was full tilt smashed. When someone starts meandering in circles and teetering back and forth with spastic steps you know they have reached that plateau of inebriation which leads to disaster, or regret at the very least. People in that stage of drunkenness I typically leave be; they are in a different world that becomes hard to reach or stay in contact with. I tried passing by the woman (Arnolds was ahead some nine blocks) but she stopped me and asked if I was all right……asked if I was all right, that’s rich.

I said I was okay and she started gibbering a bunch of thoughts out that began to focus around one point. She had a friend she had lost around this locale, a 66 year old woman. “She’s sixty-six years old” she kept saying with tears in her eyes, “and she’s got no place to stay. She’s homeless now-that ain’t right to live in a world where a sixty-six year old woman got no place to go.” She cried some more and I felt bad but couldn’t come up with a consoling thought for her at the moment.  Her rant changed all of a sudden and she began focusing on herself, telling me how she was worthless, an alcoholic (evidence proved by the pint of gin she polished off while we stood there), how her mother was an alcoholic, how the state had taken her baby away from her. This sad scenario kept compiling as her story went on and I felt horrible for this woman. Alcoholism is a demon I have seen destroy many lives and there seems to be very little any of us can do for those that suffer from it but point the way and hope they take the advice.

She grabbed me all of a sudden and pulled in real close and locked eyes tight with me. “Please please pleeease” she cried softly. “Would you please kill me? I won’t hold nothing against you, just-I don’t want to live no more so just please kill me.” A man of lesser values could have taken advantage of this woman in a variety of ways. Her wallet stood slung inside her bra, she was an easy target for rape, murder, whatever…..I’m not that guy. I sat her down in the grass with me and talked with her for a while. I couldn’t cure her problems but I sat with her for a time and helped her get over that hump of wanting to die. She asked me to kill her a few more times but I convinced her that was the wrong thing even though it seemed like the easiest solution to her. I could only stay with her so long and eventually she got very anxious about finding her sixty-six year old friend who had no place to stay. This alcoholic with all her own personal demons and issues was more concerned about helping this other individual than taking care of herself…..at that moment I was more concerned with making sure this woman got over the anxiety attack she was having – wanting to be killed – than my own personal issues I was having that evening. That’s when the moment of clarity hit me. At times we are all angels, in a sense, to help one another down this road of insanity. I have more than my share of days where I would love to have someone just take my life because life can be so fucking hard, but I make it over the hump with the help and guidance of others (I don’t even have to know the person — I’ve had total strangers help me). In return, I am an angel for others sometimes and that is another reason why it is important for me to keep the gun out of my mouth because without me, that one lone individual out there may just give in and end it all and where would it all stop?

Her name was Lorie and I hope she finds her sixty-six year old friend because it’s quite possible that sixty-six needs an alcoholic angel to keep the gun out of her mouth……..Welcome to the Church.


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