Last night I was reading and Stephanie was doing patient paperwork. My phone rang at 10 which was a bit of a surprise. Stephanie answered because it said Eugene, and Stephanie and I are trying to get to know Eugene together. She answered the phone, “Hi. This is Stephanie, Corey’s friend who gave you a ride to The Friendly Kitchen.” “Oh hi Stephanie, is Corey alright?” “Corey is fine Eugene, why do you ask?” “Well Corey told me we would see each other at the Kitchen tonight.” “Oh let me give the phone to Corey. Corey will let you know what happened. Take care, Eugene.” She handed me the phone and I said, “This is the prince.” “Why weren’t you at the kitchen tonight like you mentioned earlier?” “Oh sorry Eugene, I should have probably called you. Irene said everyone was going to be there I wasn’t needed and to come on Thursday. I am sorry I really should have given you a ring. Hey, may I ask? Did you speak to your daughter on Sunday?” “Oh yes I called her, I really surprised too! She even called me yesterday, just she said because she could” My eyes welled up, I realize how raw I am these past weeks. “That is so great, Eugene! Now you can call her whenever you want. Just watch the minutes, do you know how to do it?” “Yes I watch the minutes and this here phone gives me 3x the minutes of one price! My daughter told me she would send a minute card every other month. She wants to talk to me more I guess” “Eugene that is great, between your daughter and me we will keep that phone ringing. Eugene I don’t want to be disrespectful, I say this because I care, what you do is your business but I wouldn’t let someone go off with your phone. There is just no way to get it back if they didn’t return it.” “Corey, now you listen to me. I live in these streets, and I don’t trust a person no matter what. This is no easy way to live, and people will do whatever they can to take advantage of someone nice. I say this about me, but also to you. You are not to save the world do you understand me?” “Yes, I am sorry Eugene I upset you much. I also have never helped anyone like you out before. That is why I volunteered at the Friendly Kitchen. I do consider you my friend, and want to help you out if it’s okay with you.” “Corey I appreciate it and yes I will let you help me out when I am out. Right now I need to hang up, the cops are coming to make us move. I will see you at the store on Thursday night. Good bye Corey.”
With that the phone went dead. Stephanie, Julia Bleu and I were all comfy in our warm bed. I thought through my angry tears, where is Eugene going to be tonight, when I put my head on the pillow?
Oh my God, everything just seemed so wrong. Us in our place, filled with clothes, furniture, electronics, and packed to the gills with food. With a huge empty bedroom to boot, this was all wrong. I know I cant save the world, even Eugene, or probably myself. I thought how I should probably do something about the extra bedroom. All it had in it was all my electronics for trading. But getting a roommate I have to be sensitive to my daughter. Also, I am not 6 foot six and two hundred forty pounds.
Sometimes the inequities seem so unfair I can barely stand it. How could I have all I do, and yet Eugene, be trying to survive another night on the street. I leaned on Stephanie, she knew I was upset. “Corey Britton your heart is so big. Oh I just want to make you feel better and take away all the hurt you carry for this world.” Stephanie, I appreciate it I really do. I feel so lucky to have you, you have no idea. Could you do me a favor tomorrow?” “Sure sweetie, what is it?” “Can you drive me to Cross Roads the shelter in Portsmouth? I want to see what they need and if there is any other way for me to get involved.” “Sure I will take you in the morning, and drop you off at school. That way you can sign up for classes right away.” “Thank you Stephanie, can we go to bed? I just want you to hold me this really hurts my brain when I think hard about it.” “Sure, let me shut the lights off, and you need to take your pain pills I will bring you a drink.”
I got into my pjs and fluffed up our pillows and put Stephanie’s computer on the floor. She came in all ready for bed. Handed me a drink and gave me my pills. I took them all at once, and said, “Thank you. I love you Stephanie it makes me so happy you care about Eugene. I don’t know what I would do without you, I honestly don’t.” “Corey, I love and adore you so much and for so many reasons. But your big caring heart after that face is impossible not to love.”
I turned off the light, and snuggled up to Stephanie. I felt so overwhelmed I silently began to cry. I couldn’t stop thinking about my friend Eugene. Did he ever put his head on a pillow? Did he ever have anyone to snuggle him through the night. Sadness and urgency filled my hurting tired body. I would see what I could do or give tomorrow at Cross Roads. I said my prayers, and included a special one just for Eugene: Dear God please give Eugene a safe place to sleep tonight. I cried until I fell asleep. This life is hard-its hard on me. I wonder if anyone else feels like I do: feels the pains of the world so ugly all around me.
BORN THIS WAY-2016