Saturday, March 11, 2006

Waitress In a Doughnut Shop

Once upon a time...

...there was a doughnut shop on a corner, about a mile from where I work. I'd stop in when I had skipped breakfast (and sometimes when I hadn't) to pick up a bismark or some other pastry. It was run by an older man and his wife, she was usually behind the counter, he was often in the front, at a table with his buddies, shooting the breeze and smoking cigarettes.

And then it was only her. She was obviously tired, she had the look of someone trapped in a dull nightmare. Looking at her closely, I realized that she was actually much older than I had first thought, certainly over 70, perhaps as old as 75. One day another customer asked about "Bob". She told him how he was doing (not so good) and that the stroke had taken a lot out of him.

I've been thinking a bit about my retirement lately. I've always said that I wanted to work until I dropped, but I'm not so sure of that anymore. To toil at something that really doesn't give much back seems kind of pointless now. Unfortunately, with the United States' deficit and poor economic prognosis for the foreseeable future (for the middle and lower classes, at least) I may well end up like that waitress.

I stopped going to the shop. A few months later it was closed, then it sat empty for a few years, and finally it was torn down to make room for new construction. That scenario plays out too much like a metaphor for life for comfort.

"Would you like that order to go?"

By Professor Batty


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