* * * My Words, My World, My Way * * *

Please Write: ALewisPDX@gmail.com

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Did you know I'm a thug? Yep, it's true. You want to know how I know? Because she told me so. She did. The girl. The disabled girl did. She sort of drug a limp leg along and had some sort of speech impediment. And no, I'm not making fun of her. Please.

I was enjoying about ten blessed minutes of peace on a warm afternoon in early April in downtown Albany, New York. I had dinner arrangements with a good friend and had a couple of minutes to spare beforehand. So, I rested. Gingerly. Gently. With my Timbuk2 messenger bag on the history-worm concrete steps of Albany's Trinity United Methodist Church on Lark Street. I was by myself and watching the energy of Lark Street in front of my face. The energy, the people, the excitement of an early spring warm day after a long winter in Albany. And here she came ----

"Are you a member here at the church?," she wanted to know. Well, no, I'm not a member here. But I grew up in church and have sat in many a church pew in my lifetime. "Well, if you're not, you have to leave," she remarked. Oh, I can't just sit here for ten minutes while I wait for my dinner date to arrive? No was the answer. "We've had problems with thugs and you can't sit here." I started to laugh. Out loud. And not really at her, or to her face, but at the inference of my being a thug. Me. A thug. I kind of like that in a twisted sort of way. "Do I look like a thug?," I asked her. "No," with a shake of her head. "If you don't leave, I have to call the police." Then I really started laughing. I told her that I'd been a part of several churches in my life and had never experienced not being able to sit on the steps of a church before. I told her that I thought churches were supposed to be welcoming and accepting of all which I'm just sure she wanted to hear me say. She wasn't operating on the same planet as I was so I stood to leave. She was already on her way to the church's intercom system by the big main doors to call someone. The police, presumably maybe the head chief honcho minister. I walk just a few feet to the sidewalk in front of the church and turned to watch her. No one answered her intercom call. And she did not call the police. The thug laughed again and turned to head up Lark Street.


Stephen said...

You need some THUG LOVE, baby!

You handled it well, & your point was well made. Do you pack heat?

Stash said...

Thug. Well, you know, they have certain good...attributes. ;)

If you know what I mean. ;)

Ur-spo said...

you shameless thug, you.

wcs said...

Churches? Welcoming of everyone? Bwahahahaha!

BTW, I'm embarrassed to say, that church was my grandmother's. She doesn't go any more, though. Perhaps I now have a clue as to why.

Lemuel said...

I'm sure that Jesus himself would have had *nothing* to do with thugs! Didn't he say something to them about being whitewashed tombs filled with rotten stench? Oh, no. That's right. He said that about the religious people of his day as he went about with thugs, prostitutes, tax collectors, and other "low lifes" showing them love. And I think he also said something about coming to him and he would give us rest. But I guess that does not apply to people from the Pacific northwest who wear red dresses and just want to sit a bit on the steps while waiting for a friend. That's too literal.

Sorry for the rant, Lewis, but stuff like this pushes my buttons. In sadness I admit that the denomination in question is mine by heritage but no longer by choice and the attitude is far too pervasive.

Rick said...

What a little bitch.

Bridgeout said...

You have got to be flippin' kidding me! Well, wonders never cease.
Here's to the likable thugs and rogues of the world!

RAD said...

You can be my thug anyday! She sounds like a real beyotch..

CJ/Rick said...

Lewis were you wearing your pants down below your ass again? What do you expect when you go out like that? Ludicrous!