Saturday, July 31, 2021
"Yeah, I'm pretty much done," he says after I ask him how the straightening up of the displays is going.
I already checked, of course, and he's nowhere near done, but rather than say that, I just say, "Cool! Let's go meet by the far wall and go through it together."
And he doesn't say, "Oh, wait, let me check that," or "Was I supposed to do that too?" (which I would have accepted as self-preservation, even though it's still a little sneaky), but just meets me where I said, where I proceed to show him all of the things that still need doing, to which he responds with slow, sullen indifference.
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Sunday, July 25, 2021
Saturday, July 24, 2021
Friday, July 23, 2021
"My mom said, 'We can't buy a shoe after the store closes!' But I work in retail too, and I said I'm pretty sure they're not going to kick us out," she says, sliding her card back in to her wallet.
I hold my tongue from saying, "So you know better," and instead just say, "Hmmm. Well, thank you, and good night."
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
I added up the amount of time I spent on the phone with the IRS today, and it worked out to a little over three-and-a-half hours. While I was on hold, I thought about all the things I could be doing: reading a book, making a song, writing something (I keep thinking about writing the response to obituary I wrote for my father, something that more clearly shows the relationship we had, but I haven't written it yet) - but I was glad to just stay on hold, listening to the banal hold music which only exists to obscure the passage of time with its repetition. Something about a task where my only obligation was to stay with it, to not hang up, was comforting. I didn't have to do anything, I only had to not give up, to stay on the line, to be ready to say, "Hi!" when the person on the other end decided to interrupt the musical purgatory I was in and actually do some work.
Saturday, July 17, 2021
It's the day after I arrive home from helping my family after my dad died. I'm undressing to get in the shower, lifting my shirt over my head, when my hand knocks the glass globe covering the bathroom light off of its mounting.
I almost catch it before it bounces on the toilet and into the already occupied shower, where it shatters into thousand little pieces with a crash. I stand there, dumbstruck, trying to figure out what to address first: the razor shards of glass threatening my beloved's feet, or the blood welling from the cuts on my hands from where I tried to catch the damn thing.
Sunday, July 11, 2021
The fluffy white dog with whom I made a love connection at a distance on the shoe floor, lo and behold, is now up here on the fifth floor of my store.
Never one to miss an opportunity, I ask, politely, "Can I say hi to your dog?"
The dog, however, is already on his way to me, tail wagging and ears back.
"He just got groomed," his owner says, with only the faintest hint of impatience, as if she knows that she is only an accessory to this beautiful creature, and not the other way around, and indeed, Dandy (for that is his name, she informs me) has been groomed, because he is the softest thing on this earth, and when he curls up at my feet, I know that I am truly blessed.
Saturday, July 10, 2021
The delivery guy, like us, has figured out that the sky is about to totally open up, and he's struggling to drag his bike into the restaurant while talking in rapid, clipped Chinese into his phone.
I grab the door to help him out and he flashes me a grateful thumbs up, without stopping, or indeed even slowing, his conversation.
"Looks like it's starting to rain," I announce in a big midwestern voice to the woman packing up our food behind the counter, and she grabs a plastic bag in which to put the paper bag full of vegetarian hunan chicken and spareribs.
"Stay dry," Katie calls over her shoulder as we dash into the increasingly swift descending rain.