Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Late night dialogue

Eleven hour night shifts can lead to interesting conversation. Here's a glimpse:

Setting: 4 am in the night shelter; Debbie makes sandwiches in the kitchen while Nesta works on administration forms in the office.

D: Hey Nesta, how many sandwiches do I need to make?
N: You should use about ten pieces of bread.
D: So five sandwiches?
N: (thinking really hard) Well . . . that's always a bit tricky. I mean, that depends on what you think a sandwich is . . .
D: (absolutely bewildered) Isn't it two slices of bread with something in between them?
(((Both girls giggle)))
Well, do you define a sandwich as two slices of bread with filling between them or as two slices of bread with filling and then cut in half?
D: Uhhh . . . so I think you just described the same thing two different ways. I'm just gonna make about five sandwiches then . . .

Setting: 4:30 am in the night shelter; Resident wakes up and comes down for a break while Debbie tidies up downstairs.

D: Hey Matt! You doin' ok?
M: Yeah, I can't sleep very well. I think I just need a drink and a fag.
D: (momentarily forgetting she's in England) EXCUSE ME???
M: I just want a drink and a fag.
D: (remembers she's in England where "fag" means cigarette, not . . . ) Oh . . . . Okay . . . . Good . . .Well, you just take your time then. I think I need to take a break. I think I need some sleep.

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