I didn’t have it in me to take even one more call.
On my eleventh hour fueled only by a 20 minute noon sandwich, the flashing red light on my phone kept blinking like an ambulance. It was already after five when I called it a stoplight from God at the intersection of a very long day and busier tomorrow.
I’d earned this drive home, dinner with my dog and what’s lately been seeming more like a short winter’s nap than a good night’s sleep.
After a hot shower and shave this cold and blustery morning, I sported my longest topcoat, the length of which rivals my day ahead in this business of keeping poor people housed and fed with the lights on. That red flashing light would surely still be waiting there for me this morning along with a dozen other calls from the unfortunate many.
In early at the office, I turned on the coffee and tended to my opening routine, passing my doorway where the room illuminated red from the tiny light on my phone that had begged an answer all night long.
Coffee in hand, I listened.
A 74 year old man had just watched his home, bed and a backseat of possessions be towed away from a nearby parking lot and he needed a place to sleep for the night, transportation, and a little hope.
There are times I question the things I have come to believe I deserve. This is a business of flashing red lights that can eat you alive and spit your heart out one day with no shred of mercy in the morning.
It’s too early but I’m already on the phone trying to reach a cold old man out there somewhere and a little personal redemption in what will be another thankless day, but strangely worth every moment.