Sunday, February 13, 2005

Thinking of Jason

Jason is a friend of mine. He is what we now label as a special needs person. Jason is a ward of the state. Paying attention is not something Jason does well. Jason reminds me of Baby Huey. Big, dumb, and not a mean bone in that 400 pound frame. Always ready with a kind word, Jason is concerned for everyone's well being.

Jason forgets sometimes. Almost burned down his apartment one day. Left something on the stove, started watching the tube, and his kitchen caught fire. Jason resolved any future lapses in the direct and simple way Jay does everything. He got rid of his TV. Now all he has at home is his Bible, his bike, and a stereo he cranks gospel tunes on.

My friendship with Jason goes back at least 15 years. Back then at age 12 or so, Jay only weighed around 250, but he made an impression even then. I had just given some young punks what for when I caught them teasing him for being, well, the way he is. Instead of thanking me, Jay just said, " They can't help themselves, just like I can't help being me." Even as a kid and the target of truly cruel remarks, Jason could not get angry.

Over the ensuing years, Jason and I would cross paths. His simple and direct view of Life always picked up my day. Nothing was difficult for Jason. He could either do it or he couldn't. And he was comfortable with that. No angst. No anquish over meeting some societal set of goals, conditions, or mores. When I allow Life to overwhelm me, I find myself envious of his simple take on things. But I know he was right 12 years ago. I can't help being myself, just like he can't help being himself.

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