“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20
Isaiah knew his shit.
This is one of those phrases that sticks in your head.
Its powerful, whether shouted from a pulpit or whispered at a stoplight.
Those who regularly read this blog are shaking their heads right now and muttering “What the fuck is he up to now?”
Here it is.
There is a new homeless guy in Downtown Manhattan.
And I have named him Preacher.
I was on my way to Starbuck’s, as per usual.
Halfway there is the Coffee Bean, or as I like to think of it, God’s waiting room.
The average age is around 80+ and the place smells like ben gay and arabica beans.
And leaning against the railing out front is a man in a long black coat.
Its a dirty long black coat, but it makes a statement.
Especially on a mid 80’s day.
Usually that statement is either stupid or crazy.
I am about 50 feet away when the guy in the long black coat begins to point a small black book at passing cars and shouting scripture.
Crazy it is.
There are several people walking ahead of me, and they all three detour out into the street to walk around the Preacher.
Go big or go home.
I am not necessarily worried about my safety, Manhattan PD have a habit of appearing out of nowhere like law enforcement ninja’s when there is a need for a homeless take down.
Besides, I speak crazy.
Its all a question of going crazy first.
As I walk up, he turns to me and points his battered bible at me.
Before he can speak, I erupt, pointing at him. Not shouting, but louder than normal.
“Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.”
I love that Psalm mainly because it makes you stop and think for a second before you realize its a pretty gruesome piece of scripture.
I keep walking without breaking stride.
The effect on the preachers face is a study in contrast.
There is, of course, confusion. It sounds like scripture, but he’s not sure. Not many people are, it really is an obscure on.
Second, he is puzzling out the meaning.
Not to stereotype, but most homeless have done serious damage to themselves with drugs, so quick, efficient thought processing just ain’t gonna happen.
Third, by pointing, I instinctively make him defensive, even if he’s not sure why.
I stop and turn, looking back at the Preacher.
He looks pissed, but I run fast for a little guy.
Time for the knock out blow.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness!”
And I turn and walk off.
I am either going to be attacked from behind, or he is going to be confused enough to leave, crazy hates to share the spotlight. Throw crazy first, most will take their ball and go home.
I stop at the corner, waiting for the light.
I look back.
He walked off.
In my sick little book, thats a victory people.
It is a cruel little game, but you block the sidewalk in my town, you are obviously here to amuse me.
At least thats how I see it.
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