Mr. Goodkat: The reason I’m in town, in case you’re wondering, is because of a Kansas City Shuffle.
Nick: What’s a Kansas City Shuffle?
Mr. Goodkat: A Kansas City Shuffle is when everybody looks right, you go left.
I’m sure the Kansas City Shuffle has something to do with football (americana) or lacrosse or some other sport.
But to me, the Kansas City Shuffle will always be Lucky Number Slevin. I love this movie. But for it’s entertainment value, not because it’s inspirational or life changing. It’s a ‘fast paced, find the bad guy, wait, who is the bad guy? Oh my did he just die? No, wait what just happened?’ kind of movie. And the movie starts with Bruce Willis (Mr. Goodkat) in a wheelchair, chatting with Nick about shuffles…and then he whips around and breaks someone’s neck. You totally want to see it now, right? Maybe don’t trust my summary, just trust my recommendation.
Why am I talking about this today? Because I experienced a bit of a Kansas City Shuffle in Honduras. (Minus the neck breaking. My neck is currently intact. Phew.)
Remember how I blogged about beds and dressers a few weeks ago? (You can refresh your memory here.) And then I asked you to help by donating towards making a child leaving the street a little more comfy. Well, you responded… abundantly. Filled with joy, I skipped on down to Honduras. (My calves were killing me by the time I got there.) I confirmed with the Director that he was still leaving the street and that yes, they still needed a bed and dresser. Drove on down to the home so that we could get this ball rolling.
Well now this is awkward. I tried to tell myself that this is a good problem to have. What happened was that someone from the Honduran church that supports the home found out about the need and went right out and did some shopping. But I was left with a dilemma. People donated specifically for a bed and a dresser, for this specific child. Sure, I could email them and explain what happened and they’ll probably be ok with it going to someone else. But I don’t want to pull a Kansas City Shuffle on them. Give to this child in need! Just kidding! So, I decided to think on this for a few days.
Simultaneously, a child (who is now 18 so I guess I should say ‘a young man’) who Jilli has blogged about quite frequently (here, here, here and here) was back on the street. It was something I couldn’t quite wrap my head around. He had been off the street for nearly a year and in that time, it’s like he became a different person. He reconnected with his family, started studying. I had a hard time believing that I ever knew him on the street. So seeing him back there this trip was inconceivable. It almost felt like when I bring an older kid from Proniño with me to help me get a kid off the street. Yes, you are familiar with this life, but so far removed that there’s a clear distinction between the two. When we would leave the street I would almost want to ask him where he needed a ride to, since he obviously wasn’t staying there for the night at this gas station surrounded by kids so high they are struggling to form full sentences. Oh wait, nope, that is actually where you are now. I wanted to feel sad. Or defeated. But mainly, I just couldn’t believe it. Surely this is a bad dream that we’ll soon wake up from.
That night, I posted this picture of our afternoon on the street.
A few days later, Jilli and I were at a coffeeshop that was having a really, really hard time understanding why I would want to put cream in my americano. (I know it’s not on the menu but if I could just put roughly a tablespoon of cream in my coffee without you charging me $1.50 that would be greaaaat.) Jilli gets a phone call.
“Was that Marcos in that picture? With a squeegee? Is he on the street?”
“Well, this isn’t usually protocol, but we have a history with him. Does Jenny still have that money for a bed and dresser? Do you think that we could use it to buy Marcos a bed? Do you think he’d want to live here?”
And this, my friends, is the ideal example of a Kansas City Shuffle. There was one child in need and some of you stepped forward to help him. But someone else did it a little faster. Which allowed Marcos to leave the street before I had the chance to accept the fact that he was on the street again.
It looks to me like he likes it.