I took the opportunity to ask him what he was reading, it was a pretty standard secret agent novel. Steve excitedly told me a lot of the plotline about how two characters who are unknowingly working for the same man go after the same target and think the other is killed and there are twists and turns. I nodded on as it seemed a pretty "eeh" book plot.
When he was done we struck up a conversation about his life. I found myself listening to bits and peices of the life of Steve Wade. Steve is a man who grew up in a little town south of St. Louis, MO. When he grew up he used to work at a carnival giving camel rides. Think about that a moment, This guy used to work in a carnival. Most people I talk to on a daily basis do what I do, shove boxes arround or pound the keyboard for 8 hours a day. This man has taken care of Camels and Elephants. Then he has moved arround the United States and was even very familiar with Los Angeles where I have been for the last two years. He said he once met a Black man in LA that was big enough to hold 2 cantelopes in one hand. He said that the giant scared him half to death but turned out to be a gentle giant who offered him a cantelope.
Steve has been a truck driver, dish washer, Camel ride assistant and who knows what else I (now sadly) neglected to ask him about. This man has been places and done things that I wouldn't think in my right mind were possible. To make this point a little stronger, he has sleep apnea and has to tote a machine arround with him everywhere he goes and find a place with an electric socket to sleep at so that he won't die in his sleep. If I were in his situation I probably wouldn't make it, I would probably just die or make my way out of his situation and just become a box pusher like everyone else.
What is worse is that I didn't try to find out more about him and his crazy adventures. My mind went blank, and I didn't realize fully what I could have asked him. I didn't realize what kind of individual I had in front of me.
Luckily I did help him on his way, he said that he had spent his last dollar. Remember that $20.00 that I said I had waiting in my pocket for such an event. it burned down to $13.00 when the event came but I gave it to him. I gave it to Steve Wade. Hopefully when I meet my next Steve Wade I will not go brain dead.
During that Barbeque a member of our church said a prayer at the beginning. Steve said the prayer at the end. The simplicity and sincertiy of his prayer made the best prayer I have heard in a long while. I hope that I have learned a lesson from all this. I hope that I won't waste my next opportunity to talk with a Steve.