I am here again . . .
Long after midnight, it is not yet dawn. Still. The night is still and I am asleep.
Noises, voices–too much, too many–cause a rift, a crack, a cleft in the calm.
Dozens of people are outside the apartment talking, yelling, laughing; the smell of smoke is in the air, and it is too loud, much too loud for that open space by the elevators on the seventh floor. This is a place for a sacred embrace . . . for hushed whispers in one voice . . . for moments beyond time. It is being defiled by others.
Tired, so tired from a long day, a long week of work, yet I walked down the hallway to them, to the pagans who were causing a disturbance in the peace. This is not the time and this is certainly not the place. Getting their attention, a few at a time, I finally shouted in order to be heard, “Take it outside! Leave the building now or I am calling the police.” A few of them seemed to realize that uh, maybe we should not have a party outside the elevators on the seventh floor of a private residential building in Portland at 1:30 a.m. So, they slowly moved toward the elevators and a few toward the stairwell.
Except for one guy. Drunk, hopped up? I have no idea, but he was the key, I could tell. The crowd had shifted toward a semblance of civility, but he was close to bringing the tipping point back. Back toward chaos, away from the quiet. So, I got his eyes and said directly to him, “You have thirty seconds.” And I took a step toward him. In my bare feet straight from bed I walked toward him. This was a place for a thirty second pause alright, and I gave him precisely that long.
He made a rude gesture, the kind an Italian would make, shouting some nonsense in defiance, and without hesitation I started toward him. Sure, it could have gone bad. Really, really bad and fast. But, it didn’t. He went into the stairwell with a few others, and all the rest had now taken both elevators down. I kept walking into the stairwell behind him, and listened. The sounds of them echoed in descent. The noise was going down, one floor at a time, softer and softer, and then a click and a close of the last door and it was . . . as it should be. Once again, in that space by the elevators, it is calm.
Sometimes, you just have to take a stand, right?
When you do, whenever I do, it will turn out well in the end.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall find peace.”
And . . .
Benedictus (et beata est) qui venit in nomine Domini
WaughPaper, 3 December, 2:42 a.m.