I waited for the bus uptown to get my teeth cleaned, and realized I have to do more with my life than project manage drive thru sign installations. Good money does not a good life make.
I sat in the waiting room at the dentist’s staring at the receptionist desk, dulled by the radio. The hygienest was rough with my lips and made small talk, asking questions like where do I work at moments when I couldn’t answer, so I just grunted.
I hurried down the street to get the bus back to the office and a black guy stopped me. I knew he wanted money, but I was stuck on the thought of starting a project to write about the homeless, and so I listened. He could be my first subject.
He just got out of the hospital and needed 10 dollars to stay at a shelter up that way. I asked why he was in the hospital and he looked away, looking sad, unable to speak, about to cry. (I realized it was the state hospital, and felt bad for asking. I touched him on the shoulder and said it’s okay, you don’t need to say.)
I showed him my wallet and this was my last dollar, but he urged me to go to the ATM and get more, I said no. He didn’t say thanks for the dollar, he just looked upset.
I waited for the bus and stood in the shadows, brooding. A woman got on and started talking, and never stopped. She talked and talked and talked: blond pigtails, blue eyeshadow, plastic bags full of clothes. The guy across from her just nodded.
She said The Enemy can’t give you messages in dreams, only God can. And then she looked at me and said, Because Life’s The Choices You Make, then got off the bus.
We waited at the railroad crossing and I looked at the Mexican guys in a truck idling next to us with their lawnmowers and weed whackers. It’s time to go. Am I unravelling, or starting to bloom?