Sunday, February 22, 2015

Just out of prison

On a dark, drizzly night off East Burnside Street, I got off the bus to transfer. I was immediately greeted with a "Hey bro!" I met Gabriel, a 25 year old, at a bus stop just off the Burnside Bridge. He asked me for the time, and rather quickly the conversation transformed to him telling me he just got out of prison and was on parole. He showed me his ankle bracelet.

We talked for a long time. He mentioned how earlier that day he restrained himself when he wanted to pummel some guys who called him a retard. He was so proud of himself for not hitting them. We talked a lot about self control and the importance of thinking before speaking. I showed him my tattoo ("fewer words"), told him how I struggle with keeping my mouth shut when I'm with my wife, and we shared some laughs about how difficult relationships can be.

He said God has been so faithful to him. He has never given up on him. I told him the reason I was on the bus was that I was actually headed to church. We laughed some more.

>> Cross-posted from my TriMet Travels blog