I'm extremely thankful for the life I lead.
My vocation is to be a friend. I know I fall short of that a lot of the time, but it's an honour nonetheless. Today this vocation included eating some free beans and rice in the park with friends from all over the place. Canada, Ninth Street, the Airport Neighbourhood.
This vocation also included playing a serious game of soccer in the kids' cement front yard, with a basketball. One of the goals was an overturned futon frame that had been serving as a bicycle rack. (My team won.)
We stopped at the Shiva, where I spent a few minutes talking to my friend Deena, while my other friends gave a little gift to my old friend (their new friend), Mary. Deena is not often very clear in her mind, and sometimes it feels like talking to a little girl. Today I helped her tie a seashell to a cord and around her neck. She thought it was pretty. She has a nice smile. Sometimes, in a certain way she turns her head or gives a look, I catch a glimpse of the lady that might have been had her life played out differently. She's lonely much of the time.
Friendship brought us to another park, to look for some guys the team met earlier this week. We didn't find them, but we met a new friend, Chris, who told us a lot about his life. He's 42, and has been drug-free for 14 months. He has 8 year old twins, a boy and a girl, and he's working to be the father they need him to be.
And of course, we had to take our Canadian friends to the best tacos in the world, at Tacos Vallarta. Extra red sauce, please. I'm not exaggerating. Something could be their equal, but none could surpass them. I'm glad our friends got to have them. It may have changed their lives.
Friendship changes lives, too. There's just no higher calling.