A Life Lesson Learned

So here we are. It’s Monday morning and I survived the weekend. Better yet, I survived the Thanksgiving holiday. Don’t ask me how, but I did. I not a big fan of holidays. I don’t go anywhere for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I spend the time here, by myself with my kids. I don’t make a big meal for holidays. This year I went down to Subway for a turkey sub, and I bought a small package of slice turkey at the deli which I give to the kids. I figure that if I should have my Thanksgiving, they should too.

I’ve always been one of those people who learns the lessons of life the hard way. Last May I turned 55 years old. Over the years I’ve never really thought about getting older. For the most part, I don’t feel older, There are a few lessons that I wish I had learned much earlier.

Case in point. About three years ago, one of my best friends Tony passed away. Before he passed, he introduced me to one of his friends named Jheri. Jheri seemed like a nice enough guy. He was always helping Tony out with food, and other little necessities of life. After Tony passed, I didn’t see Jheri for quiote some time. Then one day, right out of the blue, Jheri showed up on my doorstep. He told me that he was going through some tough times. He was homeless, sleeping on any couch that he could find. I let him sleep in my recliner for about a week, then I told him that he had to find other accomodations because I had to consider my lease. He seemed to be good with that. Jheri came around nearly every day for almost a month. During that time, he cleaned my apartment from top to bottom. He cleaned the bathroom nearly every time he used it. He also started bringing food and other little gifts for me. I didn’t really suspect anything, so I just went on with life as usual.

One day, Jheri just quit coming around. I thought that I might have said something that offended him. Then I started noticing things missing. A 1920’s braille wrsit watch that was a keepsake that belonged to my great grandmother, then there was a necklace that belonged to my grandmother. I also noticed a wrist watch missing, along with a ring that that I’ve had since I was 16 years old. Yep, he had ripped me off big time.

Several week after he stopped coming up to my apartment, I ran into him coming out of the grocery store. I confronted him. He was wearing the watch and the ring that he had taken. I told him that I wanted them, but he didn’t want to give them to me. I finally told him that that if he didn’t hand them over, I was going to take them by force. He finally handed them over. He was also carrying a very expensive Swissgear backpack that I paid over $80.00 for. He had that full of food and he refused to hand it over. He walked away, got on his bike and road away screaming curses at me the whole time. I definitely put my trust in the wrong person.

Several weeks later I went riding past the public library on my bike when I saw Jheri sitting at the outside table at the end of the building. I confronted him once again. He actually acted like he didn’t know who I was. He told me that if I really thought he ripped me off, I could take him to court. Of course, he probably already had the loot sold.

Finally, I learned the truth about Jheri. Besides being a thief, a liar, and a con man, Jheri was also a level 3 sex offender. Chances were pretty good that the reason he was homeless was because the people who really knew him were afriad to let him into their homes. They knew not to trust him as far as they could throw him. I wish I had known what I know now a whole lot soon.

And so ends the problem of letting the wrong people into my home. Well, not exactly. Just a couple of days before Thanksgiving, I met a guy named Kyle. He was homeless, just getting by by the skin of his teeth. I should have known better. Just like Jheri, Kyle was just too damned nice. A guy who doesn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of is offering to buy me groceries, sodas, and all manner of snack foods. Without going into a ton of dull and boring details, Kyle took me for an IPhone and charger, two rings, two wrist watches, two knives, and a tube with $10.00 worth of quarters that I had set aside to do laundry. No, I obviously didn’t learn the first time.

Kyle was friends with a guy who moved into the apartment just down the hall from me. This guy was one who I would never let into my apartment for any reason whatsoever. When he first moved in he wanted me to let him tap into my internet, and he caught me several times to let him use my phone. I finally came right out and told him “we are neighbors, but we are not friends! You don’t need to ask me for anything!” So far he has kept his distance from me since then.

Fox Mulder from the X-Files was right when he said “Trust no one”. From now on I know enough to say no and walk away when someone starts getting sickeningly nice to me. I should have seen throught both of these guys immediately, but I didn’t. Incidents like these will never happen to me again! I know better now.

Enough said…

Author: Chris Blackwood

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