I have a new hero that puts me in my place with all my complaints about life.
Boss hired a kid of around 35. I thought he was younger. I thought he was a bit creepy when he first came in. Scary. Head is malformed from surgeries he has had. First thing he did was tell me 2 jokes. I was still suspicious of him because he talked about kicking someone’s ass or almost doing it. He made some mention about surgery and he joked about it. Boss has had him doing some simple assembly. This man drives a bike or takes a bus to get to work part time to not ruin his social security. He is a hard worker. People have ridiculed him for talking to imaginary people and himself. I was reluctant to talk about it because I know that can blow-up in our faces. I KNOW the ways of a group of people ridiculing me. I had it a lot as a kid for being “crazy”.
I have made a point of being nice to Jonathan. I wish him safe journey home. He always likes to joke. I think he was at first suspicious of my being kind to him. Yeah be kind to the weird guy. No, not so. I see this man as trying more than most non handicapped people. Over and over he falls down then gets back up. One day we were joking and he called me an “old fart” and we had some back and forth about that. I just called him a “kid”. It was all good because hell, I AM AN OLD FART!
Jonathan has had to leave work or not come in to work a few days because of problems. Seizures and other things. Today he came in with his sister and we joked a bit. I joked a bit with Jonathan. We have a good rapport now. My boss told me later about how Jonathan has had cancer. Whoooa.
I asked Jonathan about it today. Yeah when young he had Leukemia. Later, testicular cancer. He beat both. He had some surgery putting this part of his body in other places. I think bone from his arms to put into the holes in his head where cancer was removed from his brain. Yeah, it had done some traveling. Jonathan has seizures and has to take meds for it as well. I understand now why he talks to himself a lot. Today he told some jokes and I told him that a good sense of humor; an ability to make jokes is a sign of a high intelligence. He thought I was joking at first but then realized (beaming) I was not. Yes true. Making a joke takes a good mind. A joke that is not cheap and made of cruelty. Jonathan can joke about his near death experiences and suffering.
Jonathan told me he is getting married soon to his best friend. A girl. Known each other a long time. That is love, for a woman or man to stick with you after you have gone through so much hell. I am happy for Jonathan. He has suffered so much and is now going to get married.
I envy him his courage. Then again, why not? It is his life his pain. It is his choice as to how to face it. Facing it all with humor and making others laugh around him.
I love that kid.
I will try to look out for him and give him what kindness I can.
I am in awe of this handicapped crazy seeming man. He puts all my past bad experiences into perspective. He also reminds me to show my intelligence by making jokes when things to very bad for me.
I recall my mother, dying of cancer was trying to help others. People like that inspire and humble me. Great teachers. MY HEROS.
Jonathan is a new hero. I will tell him that and then cuss him out like guys do with each other. It will be a little gift for him: Treating him like just one of the guys. NORMALIZING HIM. Yeah you fit in you sonofabitch!
Sincerely your new friend, The Old Fart