Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Handout (04/14/11)
- TITLE: Joe
By Sydney Avey
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Swooosh, now my pants are soaked and I got mud spattered all up my jacket. Daryl said I shouldn’t go out today, but I got a job to do. If I don’t show up here every day, someone else will take my intersection.
Stevens Creek and Saratoga has been my intersection ever since I got to San Jose. Last year I had to move to a new house. Pastor asked me why I don’t find a new intersection, closer to where I live now. When my leg hurts too bad I have to take a bus to get here. But I been at this intersection longer than I been anywhere and I’m not of a mind to go anywhere else.
Pastor says I don’t need the money and that’s true. I got my pension from the Navy. I don’t need the money, I need the work. As long as I can stand on my feet, I’ll stand on this corner – my corner. A man has got to have a place to go every day. This is my place.
I got my regulars that slow down and toss me some change. Days when I get enough change, I buy me a Big Mac so I don’t have to go back to the boarding house and eat whatever they’re serving up to the men. I like to decide myself what I want to eat. I want to eat hamburgers.
Sometimes people will give me a Walmart gift card because they know Walmart don’t sell liquor. They think that’s why I’m here and they’re not wrong. It was liquor got me into the fight that gave me a bum leg and got me my separation papers from the Navy. It was liquor caused my wife to leave me. But I don’t drink any more. It would kill me. Well, I don’t drink much anymore. I have what the county doctor calls ‘my bouts.’
Sometimes people give me Bible tracts instead of money. I put them in my pocket to give to other people who need them. I’m a church going man. I know Jesus and I know where I’m going. I’ve made my peace with God.
Once a lady sitting at a red light wrote me a check! That’s crazy! Who does she think would cash a check for me? She had her name, address and phone number on that check. Hasn’t she ever heard of identity theft? I scratched out her personal information and put that check to work as a book mark.
On the rare day I don’t show up for work, I stay in my room and read. I try not to hang around with the other men. They’re bad influences. I go to church once a week on Sunday. Pastor visits me once a month. He’s the guy I call if I get sick and have to go to county hospital.
Lately I’ve been thinking you can tell a lot about a person by their hands. My regulars roll down their windows, stick a hand out and toss change in my Big Gulp cup like they’re shooting baskets. They dispense their loose change and good deeds with big-handedness. They are confident of their place in the world and my place in the world. Sometimes they stick their heads out the window too, smile and say, “have a nice day.”
“I always do,” I answer.
The undecideds are a danger to me and to themselves. They hesitate. At the last minute they dig in their pockets or purses for money and almost run me over trying to put a crumpled dollar in my hand without reaching a hand too far out of the car. They overthink the process. I never see their faces.
“Have a nice day,” I say. “Drive safe.”
Pastor suggested that I pray for each person who passes by my intersection. I thought that was a nice idea. So when you see me at Stevens Creek and Saratoga, whether you want to give me anything or not, know that someone prayed for you. It’s my job.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.