Wednesday

I am pretty sure I won’t have enough money or benefits to retire on. I’ve been wondering what type of job I will get once I am discarded by the company I give my most productive career years to. What part time job will I have to do? (I hope it’s part time.) A green house? Too much heavy lifting. A cashier somewhere? Maybe, but they’d have to be pretty lenient on the drawer count with my fumbling, spaced out, Alzheimer's ass. Motel desk clerk? Yeah. Just ride a desk behind bullet proof glass watching HBO all night. Book store? Too much heavy lifting. Kitchen? That’s some hard damned work. I don’t know. After my dad retired, he became a teacher - like an adjunct - he taught safety courses and blue print reading courses to apprentices. He absolutely loved it. He didn’t really need to work, he was just so bored with retirement. He worked as a designer for forty years, and he considered teaching the perfect job for him after all that. Maybe I could be a substitute teacher. Hell - I’ve been thinking about doing that anyway - like now - like instead of what I’m doing now. I don’t know what I will do, but I’m not really dreading it. It will be good to stay connected to real life, to keep active.

I used to frequent a Barnes & Noble near a job I had. I was in there all the time. Every time I was there, this old guy was there. I mean always. He was asleep nearly every time I saw him, so I never really got to talk to him. He was a curmudgeonly guy too, he didn’t seem to want to talk to anybody. He was either asleep, or hovering around the couches and chairs, waiting for somebody to get up so he could crash. He would snore so loud! Sometimes on my way to work, I would pass by the store and see him asleep in his old station wagon, in the parking lot, because the store had not opened yet. I used to imagine the worse circumstances: His retirement savings ran out, his meds got too expensive, the taxes on his house got to be too high, he burned up his equity. . . who knows. What did he do? Wander around all night and sleep during the day? I guess it’s safer to sleep during the day, when you’re homeless, so plenty of people can see you. I used to imagine the very worse: He would go to sleep at Barnes & Noble, and at closing time, the staff would make the announcement that it was closing time, and they’d flick the lights, and they’d impatiently walk back and forth by him and clear their throats . . . and then they’d realize he wasn’t snoring anymore . . .

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