A Death near the Central Bus Station*

In Drafts, Hautvoir, Local projects on January 26, 2014 at 8:04 am

They loved me as a switchboard operator. Foresaw a great future for me as a supervisor. As a Departmental secretary? Non pareille. The Departmental Chair tsked over the great things I could have achieved, had I only stuck to my studies. Meanwhile, I caught the glitches and gave one of my super performances as the bright-faced kid who takes her lumps with a smile.

In fact, they loved me in that role in every job I had. They still do. My enthusiasm, they say. My willingness to do the extra work. My attentiveness to others. You get more than your money’s worth when you hire me. If you hire me at minimum wage, you get triple value, minimum.

Of course, the great old gal’s humor gets barbed, at times, and her temper grows short. Nobody’s perfect. I’ll turn sixty-eight this year. Yesterday, I noticed interesting new dips below my cheekbones. My face is growing into the one I’ll wear for the next part of the ride.

The train ride from hell with my daughter and one other passenger in the compartment. The young man sat across from us. Spotted the airline tags on my suitcase. I don’t know if my daughter even remembers the incident. It played out in silence, and the young man decided against causing us bodily harm, despite the airline tag, and the printed family name on it.

Hoping this day will be easier than yesterday. I have medication for the low-grade fever and drops for the ear infection. Tiny issues; they’re all tiny when they start. The biggie is figuring out which ones to let go, which ones to tackle.

* An incident, as they call them. One of thousands in the Middle East and elsewhere. Except I happened to come across the aftermath of this one.

 Allez. Sunday January 26, 2014. The rain: still at it. Cabin fever and ear ache. We start the climb from here.

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