9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am:
We see them everywhere now as they have proliferated around us in sunlight and in shadow. We see them in the corners of our eyes as we drive about on our daily errands or commutes. If we live out of the zone where they drift and gather we hear of them or see them in the reports that inevitably come to our attention.
Last week as I drove across the vast and stained and empty parking lot of the failed and shuttered K-Mart I saw a pair of legs in grease-stained pants sticking out from beneath a thick unkept hedge surrounded by concrete strips and parking spaces. A large dog of a variegated color sat beside him keeping watch, guarding. He did not move and I could not, from my distance away from the dog, tell if he was breathing. I watched closely for a minute and he did not move. The dog watched me with a calm demeanor. I learned long ago to never trust a calm dog.
Instead, I called the police and animal control for what is happily termed “a welfare check.” Dog was controlled and police interviewed subject after shaking him out of his oxy daze. He was, it would seem, just taking a deep nap on a traffic island. Really? Yes. Doesn’t want help just wants to nod out. It’s his job it seems. Let a man lie back down to work.
You feel them everywhere now. You don’t know what would work to gentle their condition. You do know that all that has been tried and all the treasure that has been applied has all… all come to naught. The disease is complex, multifaceted, and long ago metastasized into the body politic and that body has become both swollen with resources and grossly overinflated; it is as if one could transform a condom into a blimp and call the city protected. It’s a hallucination of course but in this era a politically correct hallucination trumps reality. Just how delusional the disease has made the body politic is seen in the latest fashionable “final solution” to this implosion of the social order; the hip answer to these piles of human detritus strewn along the sidewalks and boulevards of our cities…Tiny Houses.
Tiny houses! Housing like some sort of shells that hermit crabs can just pull themselves into. Housing that comes to the houseless rather than the other way around. Houses so tiny they can make whole Pop-Up Thieves’ Neighborhoods in the vacant lot down the block. Come one come all for your Tiny House! And better yet for the homeless, they are free! Better still next year all citizens that own a house will be required by the state to accept one Tiny House! on their property with kitchen and bathroom access. Step right up! Get yours! You’ve taken a fall to the bottom and now we shall lift you up. Just lie back down to work. Don’t fall.
As a man like myself grows older one thing you slowly recognize as the first and last thing to fear in old age is The Fall. The mistake that precipitates The Fall is the mistake one takes care never to make. You take your time. You grab the handrail. You watch, you always, watch your step. You know — that having done everything right — you won’t fall when the fall is all. That’s what they thought too.
You see them everywhere now. Their fall scares you more than any slip getting out of the bath. Their fall frightens you worse than your hip failing. Their final fall is the fall that frightens you most of all. Even if it does come with a Tiny House!