Saturday, June 2, 2007

Drunk Clubbers


“I’m not drunk, I haven’t even been drinking!”
I think that was the theme of the evening, as men and women, most near 21 or younger, tried to get into Tiger Heat, the local gay nightclub. Amazing how much people try to lie about that, and then 20 minutes later tell you they’re drunk…or pull out a personal flask. It’s really more amusing than anything else.

This week started out with prayer again, and chatting with Helen “Big Mama” at Del Taco. Then we proceeded on to walk around the area in small groups. As I have not been doing this long, I’m guessing this is usually how the evening goes…wandering until they find people to strike conversations about God. Not easy in the line at a club, where people don’t want to listen. Although some are very friendly…or like the bouncer at the club, a huge jerk who’s pretending like he’s tough, but just needs to have his façade broken through. We met “Kaitlin” and Nick in line, wondering why they couldn’t get inside the club as she tried to convince the bouncer, unsuccessfully, that she wasn’t drunk. And Connor, who fell down on the railing and with an incredibly straight, serious face told him that he hadn’t been drinking and had been pushed.

However, these are the people that basically get stuck talking to us because they have nowhere else to go- haha. Of course, they were drunk and trying to tell us that Christians are judgmental of gays and think it is the worst sin. We tried to convince them otherwise, and once they heard that, began hugging us. Very affectionate drunk clubbers seemed to be the theme of the evening. Eventually, we got them to walk with us to the 7-11 to get Kaitlin some coffee and time before she tried to get back into the club. We made it about halfway, when Nick found some old friends, and within a few minutes was making out with some dude on the wall of a building. Uh, ok…Being drunk they were fairly A.D.D, so we never actually got them to 7-11, and they went back to the club.

We ended up chatting with many different people in the parking lot where we were supposed to have bible study (which I have yet to experience). We ran into Connor, strangely enough, and he and I talked about Catholicism vs. Christianity, and his belief in God. Pretty normal, except that he believes his friends who aren’t Christians, but are good people, will go to heaven. He ended up having to leave, so we couldn’t finish our conversation, but gave me his phone number so we could talk more about it sometime. Another friendly drunk, he gave me about 3 hugs and seemed to enjoy our conversation.

Meanwhile, Jennifer was talking to a guy whose family started the Vineyard churches, and another girl who goes to Saddleback church. Greg chatted with an angry Muslim man, and others were talking with various other people, some of whom they had met before. Then I hung out in Magees Donuts with Jose, Anthony, Krista and Matt. Matt shared with me a short version of his testimony…one of the craziest stories I’ve ever heard. He seems like a pretty mellow, happy guy… but I now understand why he does ministry on Skid Row, he’s perfect there, even though he doesn’t fit in at all – from the outside. And it was a great reminder to us that God can change the most hopeless of people. A good thing to remember, as most of the people down here could be classified as “hopeless”.

After that, I saw Jennifer rushing by with Kaitlin and Nick, strangley enough. Kaitlin was now disheveled looking, scraped up, dirty, and had apparently thrown up on herself (and the sweatshirt that Jennifer had given to her to keep warm). And so the rest of my evening consisted of buying food for her, trying to help her and Nick figure out what was going on, and sitting with her as she shivered and threw up a lot of alcohol. All the while hearing, “What’s going on? What happened?…how did I get these scratches?...where am I?” Is this perhaps why Jesus didn’t seem so fond of being drunk? I think so…I’ve never seen someone so wasted in my life, she didn’t have a clue. She kept wanting to go back to the club, and I had to explain to her that she couldn’t go back, she couldn’t drink more, and while she wanted to have a good time with her friends, she wouldn’t remember it in the morning anyway. “Really?” she asked me with her big, empty eyes. “Yes, honey, just stay here.” Eventually they found friends to meet up with and drive home to Victorville.

Right after that, another two guys wondered around, one also completely wasted – messed up would be another way to say it – to the point of crying, upset, frustrated, shaking, and not really knowing what was going on. Apparently something bad had happened to upset him, and he couldn’t stop crying. He didn’t seem to really know what to do with himself either, or what was happening. The rest of the group stayed with him and prayed, as Krista and Jennifer and I left. I don’t fit into the same group as the “Broken Hearted” in the same way, but that left me with a broken heart.

It’s hard to go to sleep Friday mornings when I get in bed at about 2:30am. There’s just too much to think about, so much to pray about. Dear God, bind up their broken hearts…

1 comment:

Packey Mac said...

I get to be your first comment! Good writing there Jolly. And what an interesting and powerful ministry you are a part of :)