I've met a lot of interesting people this summer.
A man who said I look like a pixie.
A woman who thinks ghosts are inside of her.
A man that told me I was too young for him anyway and he wouldn't get between me and my boyfriend (I was unaware I had one...).
But, the most fascinating person I've met in a while has to be R.P., one of the residents I have had the pleasure of meeting through the agency I work with.
He doesn't have outbursts or behavior problems.
He plays basketball while listening to Bayside.
He's only 20 years old.
And living in a group home.
He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder along with schizophrenia.
When we were waiting in the clinic, he started warming up to me.
"What kind of music do you listen to?"
"Everything, really. I heard you playing Bayside, 30 Seconds to Mars and Atreyu earlier."
"Yeah. You like them?"
"Those bands basically define my adolescence."
"Well here, let's see if you know this song."
He handed me his MP3 player and quizzed me on the names of the songs and bands as he went through all of his music.
"I never met anyone who listens to all the stuff that I do."
"Yeah that was mostly the stuff I got into for years. Then I worked at my college radio station and expanded my music taste."
"You worked at a radio station? That's so cool."
R.P. aspires not to be a businessman that makes a lot of money, but rather, just a regular guy. A guy that drives, gets a job and lives on his own.
"If I win the lottery, I'm buying all of the staff new cars. And even you 'cause you're really cool."
Later that night, he made himself dinner and offered me some.
He looked at me and said, "Do you think one day I'll be able to be in the apartment program like the people you work with?"
He broke my heart right then and there. This kid is determined.
"I'm glad I have the disorders I have and that I'm learning to manage them now. This way when I'm older I can drive and have a car and live in an apartment. I mean, I hear voices and stuff but I've been hearing them all of my life and now as long as I take my medicine I'm fine. I think I'll be outta here by next year."
I hope he is.