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Friday, 17 October 2014

A Girl Called Destiny

I am in the car, driving Downtown, with Stephanie, Pete, and a girl called Destiny, and in the boot of the car are salads and tuna sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bottles of water that we are going to give out to the homeless people of San Diego.
'Okay, we are Team Awesome,' says Stephanie who has long brown hair and a big smile, and whose car, an Audi, we are in, 'and here are the rules for Team Awesome. We stay together, we don't engage in conversation, we don't wake people who are sleeping,'
Then Stephanie starts the car and tell us more rules, while at the same time, driving, laughing and shouting about pedestrians.
'Oops,' she says, 'I don't want to be an arsehole who runs over pedestrians, that would be so totally not cool,'
Then she yells at someone to get out of the way.
'Out of the way, areshole,' she says, and laughs and turns the corner.
Then she asks us what our names are, and we all call out our names again.
Pete says Pete, Destiny says Destiny, I say my name and the Stephanie says hers again.
Then Stephanie asks us all what we do.
Pete says he's an arborist and Stephanie says cool.
I tell Pete and Destiny and Stephanie what I do and everyone says 'cool', but we don't get around to what Destiny or Stephanie do because we haven't gone very far before Stephanie sees some homeless people and is parking the car and yelling 'WOOH', first stop, let's roll, let's rock out some SALADS,'
Then Stephanie tells us we have to hurry because we are parked in a disabled parking space and she is not disabled.
'Clearly,' says Stephanie, running on the spot while putting bottled water into a hessian shopping bag, 'I am NOT disabled, so we gotta, like totally roll on this one,'
For the next 10 minutes we walk from homeless person to homeless person offering the salad in polystyrene containers, the tuna sandwiches, the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the bottles of water.
'You want some dog food?' says a woman a who has no teeth, and no dog that I can see, 'Someone gave me so much dog food,'
Stephanie smiles and laughs and says 'WOOP, no thanks, you hang on to it, we've got dog food' and walks on.
Then we go back to the car and, while we are driving around looking for more homeless people, Stephanie talks about how she's becoming Jewish because she's marrying a Jewish guy.
'I call it How to Become a Jew School,' she says, of the classes she is taking to convert to Judaism.
Then she tells us how expensive it is to become a Jew, $2.500 a year for temple fees, another $500 for ground fees, $250 for classes but that he fiance's father, who lives in Beverly Hills and is 'minted', is chipping in.
'You should see the temple,' Stephanie tells me and Phil and Destiny, 'it is BEAUTIFUL,'
Then, just as Stephanie is explaining the similarities between Buddhism and Judaism, and telling us that Jew school is on Thursdays so she won't be able to do the homeless food drop for 6 months while she becomes a Jew, sees some homeless people gathered at the side of a windowless convenience store, and parks the car.
I look out of the car window and see, on the footpath at the side of the convenience store, a very fat black woman in a white dress, sitting in a wheelchair.
In her white dress she is glowing under the light that drops on her from the one light on the street.
On the ground, in the shadow around her, people are lying on dirty piles of blankets.
On the corner there are more people standing around a rubbish bin.
'Wooh, let's rock those salads,' says Stephanie and me and Phil and Stephanie and Destiny get out of the car and cross the street and ask the people standing around the rubbish bin if they would like a salad.
Some say yes and we give them the salads.
Then I ask the woman in the wheelchair if she would like a salad.
'It's the only thing we have left now,' I tell her and she smiles, says yes, she would like a salad, and then says 'bless you,'
And then I offer a salad to a woman lying on the ground next to the woman in the wheelchair.
The woman on the ground says yes, she would like a salad, but she doesn't move to sit up so I put the salad on the ground next to her and she says 'bless you,' also.
It is night now, and except for the light falling from that one street lamp, it is all dark around us.
So we walk around, handing out the salads until all the salads are gone and then when we have no more salads we cross the street, get back into Stephanie's car, and me and Phil and Stephanie and Destiny go home.



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