Friday, October 20, 2006

Paul's little adventure

Well, the prodigal brother has gone off and returned again since last I blogged.

On Wednesday, Paul didn't come home. I worried, but what else can I do? He called me about 12:30 the next day and let me know that he was fine, but that he had been hanging out with a friend, had a drink or two, and decided that it was best he stay somewhere else, so as not to come home and make a scene. (Translation: he didn't come home so that I wouldn't make a scene.) The same friend who shared the alcohol with him introduced him to a homeless shelter where they had both stayed on Wednesday night. And Paul would be able to stay there for 28 days, so was it okay if he went to the house and packed his stuff and moved out?

Well, this is a strange question for me, because, in a certain way, one of the constitutive components of the good life as I currently envision it is not having Paul living in my house. But this particular possibility for that just doesn't feel right. He's a little too enthusiastic about this place. Or is his enthusiasm about the friend with the alcohol? And, okay, I admit it, I was a little hurt by the idea that he would rather live in a homeless shelter than with me. I mean, I'm not THAT bad a housemate.

So, I go teach my class and then meet him at my house. We try to talk a little about it. My refrain was "Well, it's your decision, but I can't imagine that you'd rather live in a homeless shelter." He kept coming back with "I need to be on my own," "I'll be able to work during the day if I live there," and, my personal favorite, "they have a sermon every day, so I'll get back in touch with my spiritual side."

I tried to point out that I didn't think I was holding him back, that I certainly wasn't requiring him to stay in the house and sleep every day, and he wasn't even willing to go to church with me once a week. But whatever. He was already packed, and he left.

And he was back when I got home from work today. His refrain today: "what was I thinking?" I asked him to tell me about it, and he had three main complaints. He had to wait for almost an hour through the sermon before he got dinner. Then, dinner was tuna, which he hates. And, my favorite: "All the people there were like ... homeless people."

Me: "Well, Paul, it was a homeless shelter right?"

"Yeah.... What was I thinking?"