Portraits in Three

April 22, 2008
Saw the deli man standing behind the cold metal counter today.
He was slicing cheap processed ham in a salty solution.
His large bulbous stomach was protruding from his faded mandated uniform.
He’s working overtime in a store he absolutely loathes.
He turns to the woman he’s helping, and scratching his balding head says, “Can I get you anything else?”

An unknown girl walking in the hallway.
She stays as close to the wall as possible.
As she clutches the iPod blaring in her ears, her eyes dart around nervously.
She accidently walks into me. She turns to me with wide eyes and says nothing.
Then she continues to walk, trying her best to blend into the crowd.

A woman stands in line at Big Lots.
Her daughter is right beside her, tugging on her arm.
The woman smells of cheap perfume and cigarettes.
Her thin, scraggly hair falls past her sickly, bony shoulders.
She’s wearing a loser boyfriend’s faded NASCAR t- shirt.
As she grasps her 12-pack of Budweiser, she turns to her daughter and says, “Knock it off”!

I am these three people.
We all have our problems.
We all have bad days, followed by a crappy job.
At one point we’d all rather just be invisible then have to face the world.
We all just crave love, and just want to be liked.
We sometimes face exhaustion and seem to take it on the innocent, the ones just trying to love.
When we go to bed at night, we hope for a better day tomorrow.

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