Love Thy Neighbor

(Pictured is a young man, Heylel, sitting on his slab talking.) So the podcast. A few slabbers have told me I should do a podcast, talking to or interviewing various residents of Slab City because I have such a strange array of visitors. This is because I am a really good cook and always have snacks and insist you need to eat like some jewish grandma, not because im a good conversationalist honestly. I am a good listener though, or maybe more importantly I dont get uncomfortable at long silences.

I dont want to ask people the “how did you end up in slab city where ya going” questions though i’d like to know that too, but then what do we talk about? As I tried to explain to Alien and Dreamer said to me – I dont want to give the impression that slabbers need saving. Help would make their lives way easier but you could not survive the things these people have and do. They are savages and not to be pitied. I want people to understand the ingenuity, humor, and genius in this place. I want people to love it like I do, while respecting its many dangers.

Then I remembered this New York Times article I had read while trying to think of what to say to various friends i’d written in prison over the years. A psychologist had theorized if 2 people sat down and answered a list of 36 questions honestly at the end they would have gained enough understanding and exposed enough vulnerability to love each other if even just platonically. They found it did work, somewhat.

I found with my inmates they tended to be more honest or thorough but lets be fair they had more time. I definetely cared a lot about them, and felt we knew each other well, when all was said and done.

We did add questions, inspired by each others answers, and there is some I would change. That is the plan though, more or less. Ive said before the thing God showed me that made me believe im not crazy yet do such crazy things – I felt true unconditional love. Often what God says to me is loving facts about people I meet. He is legit your biggest fan. Some of that feeling rubs off on me and so I love those society deems unloveable. I want to see if I can get the world to see people the way I do. How funny and kind hearted they usually are, even if they hide it really well. I want people to see you dont have to live like others or work yourself to death to be an important part of the world.

So as soon as I figure out pod casting ill start by answering them myself. Im determined to be completely honest no matter how painful. The list follows – if you have any good questiins please add them. If you’d like to answer them go for it and tag me. Ill try to read them on the show.

Now I just need a name. The only ideas so far are: Spange Love and Slab 54.

And the questions:

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grate

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?


Set II

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

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16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. What does friendship mean to you?

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

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24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?


25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

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31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Published by SlabCityOracle

artist, lunatic, activist, minister, interpreter for God, mom...

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