Sunday, February 1, 2009

Clayvon from Cleveland

I think it's really funny that me and Heather and Ben and Audrey and Jessika and all us bloggers will experience something and go straight to blogging about it, but this is totally hilarious and beckons to be blogged:

Tonight, I got off work at 10:30 and I gave my co-worker, Jacob, a ride home. Well, a few streets over from his house is the county jail that I pass every time I come home. As I pass the jail, there's this black guy (who's probably 30 or so and looks like Wesley Snipes in his early days) waving me down. So, I pull a U-turn and pull up aside him to see what he wants.

He says, "Look it man...I just got outta jail, you see, and the police sent my car to the Police Impoundment Lot and I'm from Cleveland and I have my first day of work tomorrow morning in Cleveland, but I don't have a car to get there."

I say, "Dude, I know where that impoundment lot is. It's about 20 minutes from here. Just get in, man."

He gets in my car.

He says, "Alright, so the impoundment place closes at midnight, so let's hope we get there in time."

I say, "Well, it's only 11, so we should be fine. And by the way, what's your name?"

He says, "Clayvon, yours?"

I ask him why he was in jail. Long story short, he tells me that he got in a fight with his g.f. (his lover) and that she bit his hand (he shows me his hand, dried blood wounds and all...looks vicious to say the least) and that she calls the cops on him. Well, obviously the cops believe the 1st story they're told, so they believe her and not him. He gets jailed.

Well, the whole way to the impoundment lot, Clayvon is talking on my cell phone to about 4 different people.

Clayvon on the cell phone: "Hey big daz, so I just got outta jail. This guy, Will, is giving me a ride to get my car.... How'd I get in jail...oh, you didn't hear, daz? Well, last night me and my lover went to the club. Well, while we were in there, I'm pushing my way through the crowd and there's some girl who won't move and so I put my hands on her waist and tell her "Go on ahead of me, little mama". But when I do that, my girlfriend looks at me and says, "Why'd you touch her?" She's getting all jealous, thinking I'm being inappropriate. Well, after the club, me and my girl are going back to her place. Well, we go inside and she's bitchin' at me still for touching that girl's waist. And she's tripping because she's been drinkin' too much and so she pins me up against the wall and bites my hand. I'm trying to get her off of me the whole time and she's giving me dead arms and punching me and stuff. And so I finally just punch her right in her face...."

On the other end of the phone (I have keen ears): "Well, she did it to herself. She really punched herself in the face."

Clayvon - "....but daz, I never meant to hurt no one. It was just a reflex. But you know how it is... she calls the cops. When they get there, I tell them I haven't been tripping or anything and that I'm straight, but that whatever she told them probably isn't the truth. But they don't believe me and so they put me in jail."

On the phone, he says the word, "trippin'" probably 20 times. (She's been trippin'... always trippin' on that shroom)

So we get to the impoundment lot at about 11:20ish. Clayvon comes back out from the Impoundment office and tells me they won't accept his check that the police dept. gave him for temporal financial clean-up. But Clayvon tells me that Wal-mart should give him cash for the check.

So, we head to Wal-mart, about 15 minutes from the impoundment lot (the whole time, I feel like I'm in a Shopping Spree game show trying to think logically and do everything the most efficient way).

I wait outside Wal-mart, muttering to myself the whole time, "Come on Clayvon, darn it! Hurry up! It's 11:40!" I'm also thinking about what music I want to play for Clayvon. I know...I'm really strange. I had been playing M83 for him, which he probably thought was pretty weird. So I turned on some Mos Def for him...something that black people and white people can enjoy.

So he finally comes out at 11:43 with no money.

He tells me that they won't cash his check, but Food City might.

So we head to Food City.

Food City doesn't cash his check either.

I say to Clayvon, "What are we gonna do?"

Clayvon - "I dunno man."

Now ...if you've read this far...I know this wasn't the brightest decision, but I was only thinking, "WWJD?"

I say, "Ummmm....well, look, I have a debit card and I can charge 120 dollars on it to get your car out of the impoundment lot."

Clayvon - "Man, you are a blessing. That would be amazing. After I get my car...we'll head over to my cousin's house...who lives real near the downtown Knoxville hospital...and he can pay you back."

I say, "Ok. But look, as long as I get 120 dollars back, I'm fine with this completely."

Clayvon - "Of course man. I'd never stiff you."

I'm starting to think I'm doing something really stupid, but the whole time I feel like God is in control of this. I'm thinking the whole time, "What would Jesus do?" And I keep thinking legitimately, Jesus would do what I'm doing right now.

So I turn on Radiohead's "I Might Be Wrong" because I might be wrong about everything I'm doing, but I just had to. Clayvon probably thought Radiohead was really strange music.

So we get back to the impoundment lot at exactly 12:00 on the dot. We sprint into the office.

I hand the guy my debit card to get Clayvon's car outta the lot.

The impoundment officer behind the counter says, "We don't except Visa or Mastercard past 10:30."

I look at him sternly and say, "Look man. It's been a rough night. Why would you make up some idiotic rule like that?"

The impoundment officer says, "I didn't make it up. Our computer's have a glitch and don't process debit or credit card payments past 10:30."

I look at him and say, "Wow. That is very professional. Your bureaucracy is genius. Have a great night."

Clayvon has his head slammed down on the counter the whole time. Poor guy has had a rough couple of nights. He asks the officer what time they open in the morning and the officer says 8.

So we walk outside of the office and I ask Clayvon if he is still able to sleep at his cousin's house.

Clayvon - "Yea, man. Is it cool if you give me a ride there?"

I say, "Yea, of course."

So...I give him a ride over to his cousin's house. And we part ways.

I will say though...when I left Clayvon that night, I prayed long and hard that he would be okay. I prayed that God would put His hand on Clayvon and give him peace of mind. I prayed that God would reveal Himself to Clayvon.


syllogisms said...

Will, I totally love that you did that.
What a story!
And it is completely hilarious that you were putting so much thought into what music to play for him.
You are great!

lizkirk said...

love it.

benjamin said...


you shoulda played some bob marley. redemption song or something...

Drew Lambert said...

I really enjoyed reading this story.
It's great that you were able to look past misgivings you might've had about the situation and offer someone that desperate a hand of compassion.
It is inspiring.

I can also relate to how selective you were of what kind of music to play. I always feel like I have to ease people into what music I listen to.