Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Will you still need me, will you still feed me?

Tomorrow marks the 7th day in a row I've had to work.

It started last Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. - unloading a truck by candlelight - and has continued through an entire fragrance counter reset, decorating for Halloween, assisting disaster-weary customers, and setting up an early Christmas gift set display (all of which has required lots of heavy lifting, standing, walking, climbing, squatting, problem-solving, and intense concentration.)

I've seen a thousand faces over the past week. Stunned parents and kids getting out of the house for the first time after endless days of not having water or electricity, cocky young electricians on their first trip to Texas and their older co-workers who obviously don't find the adventure so thrilling, retired people on fixed incomes with no idea how they're going to get their roofs repaired or their yards cleared, and prescription junkies scared they're going to run out of "medicine."

An 80-something year old man came to my counter today to buy toenail clippers. He leaned heavily on a walking cane and had mild tremors in his hands. He bought some heavy-duty clippers and told me how, a few years ago, he'd gotten to the point where he couldn't bend down to clip his own toenails; he said his doctor used to do it but he couldn't get an appointment for him to do it anymore. Then he looked at his bag and looked at me like he just didn't know what he was going to do. For a second I could see the young man behind the old man's eyes wondering where the hell all the years had gone and what was he going to do now? Then he walked away.

It made me wonder who would clip my toenails when I get old.


Blogger elysabeth said...

That's so sad Cas. Maybe he has some help though. I hope so - I'm glad you survived Ike as well - see you in the postings girl - E :)

12:02 PM  
Blogger Simply Jen said...

Cas, I love you, but I hate feet. If there were some way that I could clip your toenails without actually having to touch your feet, I would gladly do it for you... LOL It is so sad that that man had no idea what to do. BUT I love the way that you describe things. It makes me feel like I am looking through your eyes and seeing exactly what you see. I hope you get the chance to write something again. I love reading your work!

8:09 AM  

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