Thursday is a day of rest… or so it seems!
Today was a day of free time and relaxation. We spent some time on Venice beach doing some wave hopping (in my skibbies) and after getting ripped off at a beachside restaurant, we went to Hollywood for a few hours. It was good to chill out for a few hours, but nothing will erase what I saw yesterday on Skidrow, a section of LA that is infamous for crime and poverty. I saw several people talking to themselves and a man even pointed at a tattoo on his hand and threw up his gang sign to me. All I could do was put my head down and stay silent. I kept thinking to myself, “This is not how humans are meant to live…we are supposed to be something more”. As hard as it was to see in Skidrow, these were in fact humans and deserved the dignity and respect that anyone else would. However, the officer that gave us the tour, Deon Joseph, showed me that it is possible to shine the light of Christ in such dark places. He was a man willing to give the human beings of Skidrow the dignity that no one else would. He knew the people individually and would say hi to them on his rounds and if he saw something that was hurting the community, he would stamp it out in a forceful fashion, which I appreciated. I am thankful for the trip to Skidrow because it showed me the realities of my Catholic…my universal…my human community.
I had my last underwings meeting with my students today. I asked a little guy named Jose what he was going to be for Halloween. He said, “A Birthday Cake!” and proceeded to dance, I assume, like a birthday cake would dance if it could. This made me realize that God is here teaching my heart to love simply on this trip, but he is also filling Los Angeles with hope. It has been a blessed place to spend time, and the eyes of my heart are open wider than they have been in some time.
When we left the beach, I realized I smelt great. So I thought of a new fragrance for men. It’s called “The Beach”. It gives you that excellent smell of coming fresh off of the beach. I have a proposition with Calvin Klein tomorrow before I leave, so I’ll let you know how that goes.
For Now, Truly Yours, and Sincerely,
Tyler J. Frohlich