Authors Note: Hell...yall were so good with her...might as well get some ideas on what yall think HE looks like. Thanks in advance to all! This is AWESOME!
My shift is from 12 - 8 today.
I'm thankful for my job but I'll be damned if I wear my work shirt and name tag when I'm not there. That should explain to you why it is currently folded up in my backpack while I'm here at the library looking for a job before my shift starts.
Today. 8 hours on my feet smiling and shit ringing up and bagging people's groceries.
The library is right behind the grocery store where I work. Well...across the street and down a piece but you get what I'm saying. It's a nice day so I parked at my job and walked over to the library. Three days a week my shift starts at 12 so three days a week I get here at 9 and look for a job. A real job.
I'm not looking for anything much special but I just want the basics. I'm all out of dreaming so I'll take one of those good Federal jobs so I can shut it down. Get me some benefits. Get my kid some benefits. Have more money to give his mother. Help my mother out a bit more. Basic shit you know? Shit a man should be able to do. Yeah...I know I went about it ass backwards but I did it. I was in school for 4 years and didn't graduate and then got me a good job while I was still in school and then took some time off from education. By the time I figured I needed to finish school, I'd already been divorced with a child and back to living with my mama but you know what? I went back and I finished and when I started looking for me that good job seems like everybody else was looking for that same good job too. I thought I was doing something getting that degree finally and look...all it seems to be is some more paper trailing me around.
But I'm thankful for this lil piece of job I have because it's something and I see people. People with baskets overflowing with expensive foods. People who don't care if it's on sale or not. People who don't use their reward card because they don't think about every cent they spend. Imma be one of those people one day soon.
Probably not though. I'll always remember this feeling of not having enough and not feeling adequate. Of having a job that defines me by my current circumstances. I'll always be scared to be here again. Of living with my mother as if she's my roommate but not really because she's my mother.
I look around me at the people at the other computer terminals and I know there is probably one or more of them applying for the same jobs I'm applying for and I size them up and see what others will see in the comparison. Sometimes I'm good. Sometimes I'm not.
"I'm poor, Black, I might even be ugly, but dear God, I'm here. I'm here"
I have to stop watching that movie with my mother.
I was laughing at myself when I saw Thursday Morning walk in. I call her Thursday Morning because Thursday is the only early morning shift I have and she's in there every Thursday morning. I watch her because I can. She won't recognize me because I'm invisible to people unless I'm at my register with my shirt and name tag on but...I have a feeling she doesn't recognize many. She's got that look. Like she don't want no trouble so she's gonna keep to herself. I see how she balls into herself and has a faded look in her eyes all the time. Like there's a film cross her eyes.
You know how when your car runs outta window cleaner stuff and you flick the thing to get rid of bug juice and now it's all dried up and hazy? That's what I imagine her vision is like. She's never in a hurry but she doesn't linger either. I bet she has somewhere to be and stays tight up on a schedule. Ain't nothing wrong with sticking to schedule. I'm the same way. Hell...it's Tuesday and I'm at the library right? Right. It's what I do on Tuesdays.
I like knowing there is someplace else I go that she goes to as well. Seems that somebody with a schedule being where I am makes it seem not all that bad. I wish I could see her smile because I've never seen her smile. I bet if I told her some corny ass shit like "You should smile" or "Pretty ladies like you shouldn't frown all the time" she probably look clean through me and toss me an old fake ass smile like I've seen my mother do in church with Elder Morse who is always trying to holla at her on the sly.
Oh well. She has a nice ass anyway.
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