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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Most Important Person In The World

posted March 6, 2009

Sit down, shut up, and do not interrupt the Messiah when I am speaking.

The most important person in the world to me was Columbus Meeker. Most people should know him as Elijah the Prophet by now. Elijah could be called the "opening act" to the Messiah as "the main attraction."  There are many things I do not know about him. Here are the facts:

He served in Vietnam. A sniper lined him up and put a shot to his head. The bullet pierced his helmet and left a scar, that looked like a candle flame, in the middle of his forehead. He lived at 333 Baker Street in Long Beach. His small home was taken by the government via Eminent Domain for an extension to the 710 freeway. As far as I know, he never had a permanent residence after that.


The first time I saw him in person was 1993. My family was at our friend's the Miller's, for Passover. For those who do not know, this is the most widely celebrated holiday in Judaism. I believe it is because it is celebrated at home. You don't have get dressed up and go anywhere.  There is always a cup of wine set aside for Elijah on this holiday and someone is supposed to open the front door in case Elijah is there. Sandy Miller, the wife of Marvin, asked me to open the door. I did and saw Columbus Meeker there. I stood there a moment, completely shocked. 

Someone asked "What's going on?" The front door was not in view of the rest of the people there. I said "There's someone here." Sandy asked "What does he looked like?" I replied, "He's a black man..." but before I could further describe his appearance, Sandy yelled "Don't let him in!" That was completely wrong. Jews should know you are supposed to let ANYONE in on Passover. Columbus asked me, "Can I speak to the man of the house?" I yelled to Marvin, "Marvin. He wants to speak to you." I walked back and gave Sandy a dirty look. Marvin walked outside and spoke with Elijah for a while.

I walked back and forth to check on them. I angrily asked Sandy "Can we at least get him something to eat?" She prepared a plate of food and I delivered the food to Elijah. I spoke with him briefly. He seemed pleased with me but had little to say. I gave him my business card and told him I wanted him to call me.

Later on after Elijah left and we were all inside the house, Marvin asked me "Does that mean you are...?"  I replied "That doesn't matter.  What did we just do?"  I felt we, as a group, had failed a test from God.  We were supposed to let him in.  Anything short of that was inadequate.  By the way I had the Mark of Isaiah on my cheek and my eyes had changed color, from brown to hazel, about thirteen years before.

During the 1995 through 1996 meetings in the Mulholland Dog Park that saved the world from an apocalypse, I was asked if I saw Columbus Meeker again would I recognize him.  I said I would.  Not all people of color look alike to me.  After I moved to 740 S. Burnside Ave.,  I received clues and messages from people and above to expect Elijah.  I truthfully do not remember what the date was when the following events occurred.  I am certain it was before March 9, 1997.

One morning while I was walking east on Wilshire Blvd., I saw a man with long dreadlocks shadow boxing.  That was not Elijah.  Asleep on the ground next to him was Elijah.  I was not really prepared to welcome Elijah into my apartment.  At some point previous to this day, Columbus had called me and asked if I remembered him.  I was confused at first, but when I replied "Yes!  I know who you are.  You are Elijah the Prophet." he hung up on me.  He was asleep on the sidewalk when I walked past and I thought it best not to wake him.

Later that night, I went out again in the same direction to go to the ATM.  As I walked back I saw Columbus was awake.  He was sitting on the corner.  He had lost all his teeth because, as he explained to me, he had been smoking crack cocaine for awhile and his teeth had all fallen out.  Elijah had his left wrist wrapped up with twine, rubber bands, bits of cloth, and paper clips that were twisted like prongs coming out; he had devised a type of defensive weapon out of garbage. 

I tried to communicate with him that I knew who he was, but he frequently looked up in the sky and began shouting.  He did that several times; speaking calmly with me and then suddenly shouting like a madman.  I asked him if he remembered me and he replied he did not. I held back the tears as I grieved for him.  He had become such a pathetic shell of himself in such a short time.

It was difficult to communicate with him; even at that late hour there was enough traffic that his words were often drowned out in the noise.  I gave him a few dollars and said, "God Bless You."  I felt there was a greater chance something bad would happen if I tried to take him home with me.  Not only was he alternately calm and screaming, I had a lot of computer hardware scattered loose on the floor as I was in the middle of a PC repair job in my "home office."  Soon after I walked away Elijah began yelling as loudly as I had heard him that night but I kept walking.  I found it very hard to look at him in that condition. 

That was the last I saw of him.  The next day, after I cleaned up my apartment,  I went out to see if he was still in the vicinity.  He was not and I remember an elderly Orthodox Jew looking at me narrowly from across the street.  It seemed from his expression that he recognized me and knew what happened with my exchange with Elijah.  But as I looked at him he walked quickly away.

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