Thursday, February 12, 2009
A Boys Dream
i went to work one day last week, a saturday actually. one of my many responsibilities at the cleaners is taking out the garbage. when i went to remove the bag from the front garbage something caught my eye. this something was clearly out of place in a dry cleaners garbage. i couldn't tell what it was, all i knew was this was wood, and this was hand crafted.
i picked it up out of the garbage, avoiding snotty tissues all the way through. i don't even know what came over me or why i picked it out of the garbage. it wasn't worth any money, it wasn't pretty. it was a small wooden snowman decorated with buttons and glued to a wooden base. it wasn't even painted. it was a project my bosses son made in kindergarten and gave to my boss. what was it doing in the garbage? i flipped it over and looked at the bottom of the base, jack was carved into the wood. i felt like i was about to cry, or just throw up. i thought about my own dad, and his absence. i thought about how a son loves his father, who is just a man - no matter what. but that man maybe doesn't recognize the love, or doesn't have time for it - or at least doesn't have time to return the love. maybe i took it too far. maybe it was taking up too much space and just getting in the way. i mean christmas season had long passed and who is a five year old to notice the gift he gave his father go missing? i still couldn't help but think that the snowman was a gift and couldn't mean much to my boss, who threw it out.
my manager, a mom, was more disgusted than me-and she wasn't giving my boss the benefit of the doubt. she knew this snowman wasn't just a dust collector. she went into his office and placed it back on his desk. it's been there since.
after all this i remembered a time earlier, over the summer when jack came into work to help his dad wash the car. he looked so happy. my boss looked irritated and drained. not to mention stressed. i also thought about a time when i was on the train and i had put my backpack in the carrier and a man not too different from my boss helped me take it down. i wasn't even struggling or reaching for the backpack, i hadn't even yet attempted to get it. but he must have noticed that i was pretty short and not too toned. he sensed i had no one to help me, and i would appreciate it, he knew that. i missed my own dad right then. i missed having my own dad. not that he would have been on the train to help me anyway, but i wouldn't have felt so sad when someone else was.