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Think Again

I’ve spent today in kind of a daze. I got up much earlier than usual, started work much earlier than usual and worked hard all day long in twenty-degree weather. Barely two hours before I was done, one of the wheels popped off my suitcase.

In one of my other lives I’m a traveling sales girl. Kind of how Johnny Cash started out, except instead of selling vacuum cleaners, or whatever it was he sold, I go door-to-door selling holistic pet products. I’m not a very good sales person. I’m not aggressive enough. When someone says “no”, I smile and say “Thank you! Sorry to bother you!” and then I rush away, horrified. It’s all very awkward. Being that this is Manhattan and I don’t own a car, I work my job on foot. I carry my samples in a suitcase with wheels, which I drag around on the subways, the busses, and over miles and miles of sidewalk. It weighs almost forty pounds. The original wheels lasted three months before they completely disintegrated. Mike replaced them with wheels from his skates, which he made me swear I would not lose should one come loose, because they cost two hundred dollars to replace. That was last month. Today, in the middle of an intersection, the bracket that held the left wheel in place snapped in half and the wheel went spinning off behind me. I managed to catch it, but I still had four stores to visit and now I would have to drag the suitcase along with one of its wheels in my pocket.

I would just like you to take a moment and picture me, bundled up to my eyeballs in fleece and wool, dragging a one-wheeled suitcase down a busy New York street. The sound of the bottom corner dragging on the pavement was so loud that every single person I passed had to crane their head around and glare at me as if my one-wheeled suitcase was somehow offensive to them. At one point I thought it would be easier to just carry the thing but it turns out forty pounds is really heavy.

It had been one of those days and by the end of it, I was exhausted. It was only 5 p.m. but I knew I would spend the rest of the night on the couch, feeling sorry for myself and wishing we had ice cream while I watched old episodes of Law & Order. My night was ruined.

I curled up on the sofa with my laptop. Valentine climbed onto my lap and I propped the computer on her comma-shaped body. Theo folded himself against me and two feet away, Mike sat in his studio working on a still life. I opened my homepage and Amelia, perched behind me, began performing her ritual evening bath. Under the melody of Guided by Voices I could hear Toby’s tags singing against his water bowl in the kitchen.

That’s when I found out. Suddenly my night felt like something to be grateful for.

May our prayers, hopes and dreams be for the people of Haiti.


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  • ‘Cita

    Amen, Sister.