Revision Street: Albert, 44

June 22, 2010


(photo by out_of_place/Flickr pool)

Wearing a turquoise cross tucked into his stained White Sox jacket, slightly graying beard, Albert’s missing his front teeth and smoking in front of the bus on Navy Pier.

I thought, 6 minutes!

Albert exclaims, telling me how the bus driver told him that’s how long it would take before the bus left.

I thought, I can take care of this!

He waves his cigarette in the air.

I can’t do it on the bus, that’s a health hazard.

He’s just come out from seeing the latest big-budget blockbuster with his friend, a film that romanticizes war.

My friend, he had to hold me down, stop me from freakin’ in there. I was thinking when I was in there, It’s not a good idea to let the military lead us. We should lead the military. It will allow the military to decide our future.

How do we really know, as a people, what they’re up to over there? We can raise them up to be good people. But how do we know what they’re doing once they’re there?

He shows me a blue gem on a chain that he just bought for the receptionist at the facility he sleeps at.

It’s got a long, long chain. She can just hide it under her clothes, when she’s working. What’s weird is that, any place else, this would have been $20, $30. They said, $11.31. $11.31? OK.

I came out in the ‘80s. I decided that it was my turn. I used to tell people on the school bus, you know, I’m gay. It was rough. People were committing suicide. It’s sad. If people would learn from their mistakes . . .

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than to hear some young person committed suicide over something so simple.

 

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