Updated: Jan 1, 2022
Two houses and serveral years ago I was standing in my kitchen talking with Jojopah, who was sitting at the kitchen table. When I remembered that it was trash day and the 10 year old neighborhood kid who came and moved my trashcans from the back of the house to the front of the house would be there soon.
I told Jojopah that he had been coming and that I usually gave him two or three dollars when he came. She then promptly said, “I’m getting that you need to give him five dollars.” I replied, well he has just started to come, I’ll wait a couple of weeks and give it to him for doing a good job. She immediately said, “No, you need to give hime five dollars. That’s the problem with our social services systems now, we so make people feel like they have to earn it instead of them just being worthy. You need to give him five dollars.”
I stood wondering why this five dollars was bugging me? Then I realized that I never have any cash around and that I could alway find a couple of dollars in my house but to be able to give him five dollars weekly I would have to plan. I would have to be intentional in preparing for him. So I went the bank and got some cash, some for then, some for later, and waited for him to come.
Soon enough I heard a knock at the door. I was excited to see him and to surprise him with his five dollars but when I opened the door I realized that I didn’t know his name. I had never really seen him before that day. I immediately felt deeply ashamed. I asked him his name. His name is Markeith. I then noticed that he didn’t have a hat or any gloves on and it was cold outside. I reached into our coat closet and pulled out a new hat and a brand new set of gloves because I always kept extra. I gave it to him and I gave him his five dollars.
He left and I cried. I was so embarrassed. I hadn’t seen him. And then Jojopah said, “You couldn’t see him until you were ready to see yourself because he is you. The only way that all those people during Katrina could get caught there with as many social service professional that are in the area is because they couldn’t see them, because they couldn’t see themselves.”
That day Markeith was seen and I got to see him, we both got the medicine that we needed from each other. Interesting enough Markeith never came back. Our contract was complete.