Last night I had an interesting experience that I never would have had if I was still a JW. I had to share.
My partner and I had some friends over for a visit last night and we ordered pizza. After the pizza guy left, this guy outside got my attention. He was very polite and clean cut. He asked for a minute of my time. He told me his name and offered to show his ID...he said that he was trying to get enough money to get a bus ticket to Dallas. He explained that he had AIDS and his roommates had kicked it out b/c they found out. He wanted to do work for me....take out my garbage or whatever...for a few dollars to help him get his ticket. I told him that I had given my last cash to the pizza guy for a tip but I could give him pizza if he was hungry. He thankfully asked for a slice. I gave him two and Sarah, my partner, brought some water. I talked to him for a while to find out what his story was....he was 24 yrs old and had gotten the disease from (of course) unprotected sex. I asked if it had been a woman or man. He said a man. I told him that I was 'family' (also gay) and he told me he was scared and just wanted to get home to Dallas. Sarah and I tried to figure out a place for him to sleep for the night b/c he didn't want to sleep on the streets. Someone he had asked money for earlier pulled up in a car to give him the money and while he was away I talked to Sarah about giving him the money for his ticket. So Sarah went into our savings in the apt and got $20. He almost cried when we gave it to him! He kept saying 'god bless you'....I told him that 'god' and I didn't get along and that I was helping him b/c I wanted to and not b/c I thought I would get some kind of blessing from god. I spent about 10 more minutes with him and before he left I was almost in tears. When he was ready to leave, he said he was going to go down to the Greyhound station right away before it got too late. He said the bus to Dallas runs every 3 to 4 hours and he'd just wait for one there. He gave me the name of the place where he'd be in Dallas and I gave him my cell #. He said he'd try to call when he got there to let me know he was safe. I made a friend. As a JW I would have given him a tract or magazine and sent him on his way. How useless and unhelpful that would have been! Instead, I got to know someone. Who knows, maybe he'll keep in touch.