Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Walking in the morning on Market in the Castro past a gym, a guy in front of the gym is being twitchy and unhappy and moving oddly in a way that makes me wonder if he's dangerous.

That is, I wonder if he might be dangerous to someone other than himself.

He's clearly crazy. But, California with its long closed mental hospitals and San Francisco with its tolerance, I see a lot of unusual behavior. I rarely wonder if people are dangerous. I would say, on the whole, even people who seem nutty aren't dangerous.

Why do I wonder about this guy? The very fact that I wonder makes me wonder the more.

I walk past. He isn't a danger to me; I'm beyond him.

Who you gonna call? I just read an issue of "Vice" magazine that was about cops and was mostly direct quotes from New York City police. One guy talked about EDPs, emotionally disturbed persons. "Everyone knows what you shouldn't do with them, and no one knows what you should do with them." Yes.

I wanted to call someone large and motherly of any gender who could say that thing, that one word and tone, to bring this guy down a little bit, just a little bit closer to shared reality.

He was simultaneously too far away from the rest of us and moving too much. Come in closer, guy. Here is weird but it's better than where you are.

I'm not good at identifying the effect of drugs other than alcohol, but a large portion of his problem certainty could have been drugs. Witty posters in the Castro saying crystal meth is bad and a man acting bizarrely speeded up. Yeah, could be a connection. But either way. . .he wasn't home to an extent that looked dangerous.

I did nothing, and evidently nothing much happened. Anything awful enough to make the paper I would have seen.

Is worrying a prayer? Sometimes I pray that my worrying be taken as a prayer, and that I learn to take the worrying energy straight into prayer.

Charles Dickens took long walks around London, often all night, at a time when social and economic change meant people were in awful straits. One of his most famous books "Christmas Carol," ends with the happy crippled boy whose family has been helped by the conversion to compassion of the mean rich boss saying, "God bless us every one." Good idea.