Those of you who have read my blogs through the years know my buddy Chris. Chris, 27, is mentally challenged, and I met him when he was seven and his folks were my neighbors.
Sometimes I am as equally amazed at how Chris’ mind works as I am with how it doesn’t work. You meet a lot of people along life’s way, but few impress you with true wisdom. So many times, I have gotten that from Chris. It’s all a matter of understanding and interpretation.
Through the years, I believe I have been a help to Chris, and now he helps me. On his visits, he helps me “see” to cook and do household chores.
Last Sunday, as we ate dinner, Chris told me he is “in love with a girl at training.” Both are in a special program designed to help them secure a job. After seven years in the program, it has become evident to me that Chris is not trainable and cannot learn the skills required.
I’ve never been able to teach him to use a can opener, yet he never forgets anything. His recollection of movies, movie quotes, actors, directors matches that of the online International Movie Database.
A keen observer of normal life around him, it’s not surprising that the following dinner conversation ensued:
“I asked her to marry me,” Chris confided.
“No, I asked her on the telephone.”
“What did she say, Chris?”
“Oh, she said she didn’t think she was ready for marriage, but she might be one day.”
“What did your mother say when you told her you asked the girl to marry you?”
A mother’s tears that Chris cannot live independently, much less marry.
I changed the subject: “Chris, you can’t kiss this girl at work, because they have rules against that, and you could get in trouble. Have you kissed her?”
“No,” he replied, “I blow her kisses.”
Sometimes life really doesn’t seem fair.