Even though I haven’t talked about my volunteer activities lately, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped serving the community. So to bring y’all up to date, I’ve moved on from the Catholic Worker – and the senior center – for greener pastures in the form of Trinity Church at Avenue B and 9th Street.
I’d actually been planning to check out the church many moons ago but somehow found the CW and settled in there before I had the opportunity to approach the former. Which was unfortunate given that the church doesn’t seem to have any assholes working there – and the food is better and more plentiful.
So anyway, I did a double shift yesterday because well…they asked me to. There are occasional days when no organizations or schools avail themselves of the chance to do good and the church is fucked for volunteers. Which is when they prevail upon me to step up.
Despite my obvious (or not so obvious) executive and organizational skills, the truth is that I don’t have a problem performing the most pedestrian of tasks. Which means if you had a spy cam on yours truly, you’d see a guy sweeping and mopping floors, windexing windows, and slopping food onto a plate as well as telling people in my charge what their particular job entails so that the wheels of progress remain lubricated and efficient.
Trinity Church has been my new home for maybe a month or so and the daily staff is just getting to know me. And yesterday, one of the cooks who’s seen me enough times was curious enough to ask “So Billy. You live in an SRO in the neighborhood?” When I answered matter-of-factly in the negative, he continued “So are you in a shelter?” To which I ended his line of questioning with the truth “I’ve been rent-stabilized for 44 years on 10th Street.”
It would be difficult to ascertain exactly what gave him the impression that I was indigent or close to it. Maybe it was all those pedestrian task performances. I don’t look 67 and perhaps he thought I was of working age but unemployed. Which might lead him to believe I’d fallen between the cracks as so many of our guests have. Who the fuck knows, really?
The point is that I kind of got a kick out of his line of questioning. I don’t know. A guy like Donald Trump would have been deeply offended in my shoes. (He’s always stressing to people that he’s worth more than their estimation. He has a history of that.) Whatever…it’s entirely possible that I like that undercover aspect of these situations (it’s not the first time people have mistaken me for a poverty-stricken mother fucker).
Clearly, my interrogator missed the Daily News memo about Dollar Bill. And that’s a good thing. I like to be judged on the quality of my work – and not my bank account. I’m weird that way. What more can I say?