Other Voices


The time was 1968.  I was listening to Bob Dylan and yes, the Times were indeed Changing.

On one occasion, it was out of Omaha and later that night, hitchhiking via Iowa with a harsh, driving rain and thunder.

And this is what I saw:

I saw the death of the poets in the gutter:  the drunks and the poor around burning barrels:  I saw a man, a black man, named Fitts who was dying from kidney failure and whom I wrapped my arms around this man as his body exploded.

I was left with salvia and snot and a love for a man who felt so all alone.

I heard the voices of all of those who were miserable, who were hurting, who were vulnerable and who were all so much better off than I, and when I was schizophrenic and feeling so sorry for myself.

When on trains, that black ladies that were teachers took so good of me. I saw people who gave me food:  people who offered comfort.

I met people who were of all colors and who were so good to me.

And even when once, I crawled out of an Air Force Hospital and told I had three days to live, a host of people who received me.

All of those voices kept me alive.  No, I never actually heard those voices, not for real.  But I could hear and see the faces in my mind.

Perhaps I was crazy but I believed in them.  And the one factor so overwhelming with them, is that they believed in my friend, Jesus.

Thus, to this day, I believe in all those voices, those that helped me so much.  And as much as how they were so very real and other voices, they are still here with me today.

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