Russell Street Deli and amazing sight!
March 6, 2009
I meet Athena at Russell Street Deli for lunch.. i get there early, given a seat by the door i take the view looking outside. She arrives we chat…dear god soooo much to catch up…never enough time! …well she is talking to me about something really important yet i am not able to pay attention. My attention is in fact over her right shoulder looking the front window onto the side walk to that man standing out there…she of course notices that my attention which she has had 110% of is now down to to like 2.5%. she sways into my view and i lean around her trying not to lose my target. she finally looks around to see what has so intently caught my eye. She sees the man i am looking at. She asks me if I know him. I do i tell her…that is Albert! I have not seen Albert since the story on Johnnie Redding broke and the guys i normally went to visit we no longer in the heated safe place i was content in knowing they had. I have been worried about Albert for weeks now. I think i was smiling. She asked if i wanted to go talk to him, i asked her if she minded. Of course she did not and i am thankful!
I go outside and i just stand there staring at him waiting for him to focus on me cuz i bet he is not used to people just blatantly staring at him but used to them to just drifting by pretending he does not exist. He registers someone is looking at him…and he smiles! He tells me he has wondered i how i have been! I tell him i have wondered the same! I smile back at him and then i grab him and hug him! i was sooo fucking happy to see that man!! He told me he went ‘home’ that means to his daughters place when the weather got so cold. I asked him what happened to the space and why did he have to leave. He told me they turned the heat off!
AHHHHhh i think to myself…what is the best way to get a bunch of men to move on if you dont want anyone knowing they are there when you could potentially draw some bad press if the ‘news’ found out esp after the story of how poorly the Redding body was handled by the city. Of course this could just be me making stuff up but it sure would be a coincidence like none other. Would the heat be shut off on the coldest week of the winter if there was not concern about a certain department in the city helping out homeless if the city was not getting bad press that same week. we may never know!!
and what is more important is that Albert is back and he is ok!! and he will back in the area that night! i ask if he needs anything. he tells me everything as it was all tossed out when they were forced out. i tell him i would be by the next day with food and blankets!! i tell him i am really happy to see him!! He tells me he is too!
I go back in and tell Athena about him, I am in tears i am so happy…and giddy and realize a weight had been lifted off of my that i did not even know i had the burden of carrying…i was so thankful he was ok!
he came in after that and came to our table. i wondered for a second if the establishment would ask him to leave, in my head i sort of dared them! But he told me he was doing what he does…’ you know hustle’ i told him i got it, he needed to ….well he told me he was down there working for a guy in the Market and waiting on his lunch and he was getting paid by him today. He told me he was doing ok, and i believed him! He told me good bye when he left and asked me to stop by again if i missed him..i told him i would for sure!!