Welcome back to Member Monday. We continue our September theme ” A Lesson Learned” with a piece by member Dale Angel.
by Dale Angel
On a cold rainy morning in the city there opened a new fast food place with the smell of coffee permeating the frosty air. It invited you inside with clean tiled walls and shiny new windows. It looked like a good place to work, if I could get a job there.
Applications were across town. The long bus ride was uncomfortable because of the overwhelming smell of diesel, I was glad to get off and walk the next few blocks locating the address. It was up a flight of outside stairs that needed repair. Opening the door, at the end of the room was a large man behind a large desk that almost touched wall to wall.
Our conversation was brief he informed me they didn’t hire old people. Their labor would be only young high school kids, I was all of forty but could pass for thirty-nine some days…at early evening.
It left me wounded, too emotional to ride back and let anyone see me crying. I walked miles in the rain with my hot tears mingling with cold rain.
I got a job cleaning an apartment overlooking the river. It was completely walled in glass with a large glass table, large glass lamps, large glass covered pictures, a glass coffee table, glass fronted furniture, huge mirrors, and a glass coffee pot.
The lady of the house always left as soon as I arrived explaining she was out to her afternoon delight. She shared with me she was a former prostitute, her husband was a Fireplace tools manufacturer.
One day as she pulled on her coat, that looked just like Pat Nixon’s before they were asked to leave the Whitehouse, she again explained she was out to for her Afternoon Delight. I had in my mind a mocha souffle or pineapple sunday. I asked what “Afternoon Delight” was. She looked over her mod glasses, her white manufactured hair framing her face, and explained it was her lover.
She made it to the elevator when the earthquake hit. I looked out the windows and saw the river hit the glass windows. Shards of glass whirled at me and I floated on the table as the lamps and glass cupboards shattered and the glass chandelier swung. It sounded like a bomb went off. I was wet. I thought it was blood. It was my thumb frozen on the glass cleaner container spraying and as the building rolled and whirled my legs became weak but my mind returned, I realized I didn’t get hazardous pay.
I revisited that fast food place, they gave out coffee cups with their logo on it drumming up business the promise was…. always a cup of free coffee if you use their advertising cup.
Thirty and more years have passed, but I don’t keep account of injuries or hold grudges.
Recently, out of spite, I pulled mine out of the cupboard and asked for my free coffee. One local establishment refused, the one across town honors me with fresh coffee with real cream served by a gracious manager. It’s my revenge cup although small in comparison to the large man and large desk the cup is now bigger than the both of us.
There’s something comforting in revenge.
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