Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word



            Having worked 10 of the last 11 days, (I mean actually showing up and staying at an office for 9-10 hours each day,) I awoke this morning to get ready for my 11th day, and found that my clean laundry had truly been depleted.  I dug deep under my bed for my suitcase of storage clothes, and came up with a pair of jeans that were too long, so I cut them off into knee-length shorts, and an 80’s style baseball shirt, white with orange sleeves, with a picture of Bob Marley on the front of it. It fit a little tight, but actually made my chest look really good, as long as I maintained my posture and sucked my stomach in constantly. But they were clean, mostly, so I hurried out the door and onto a deserted 17th Ave at 6:30 on a Saturday morning.

            As I approached Pennsylvania, I noticed two women, wearing weighted vests that resembled bullet-proof vests, and they were doing lunges down 17th. There’s a tiny workout space near that corner, and occasionally I had seen people working out on the street when the space was full. But the space looked deserted as I passed, so when I came upon the two women I offered my words of encouragement.

            “Wow, you ladies are really dedicated. Good for you,” I said.

            “No. We’re not. There’s a man watching us,” one of them said, red-faced, sweating, and glancing over her shoulder, like she would get in trouble for speaking or stopping.

            “Really?” I asked, looking around.

            “Yeah, he’s our trainer. He likes to embarrass us.”

            “Oh, well, I guess whatever motivates you. Good luck.” I walked on, and they lunged on down 17th.

            I jumped on the shuttle bus, which, on a Saturday morning, is home to either crackheads who have been up all night, homeless trying to sleep and stay warm, the few workers such as myself, and a number of various nefarious characters. Sitting next to me was a young man, head covered with the hood of his orange sweatshirt, with an orange bandana covering the lower half of his face, leaving only his dark eyes visible. I was a little spooked and tried not to make eye contact, and tried to force the stereotypical thoughts about him being a robber out of my mind. But, he was, after all, wearing a bandana over his face. What more do you need to make people think you’re a robber?

            I could feel him staring at me, and I finally glanced in his direction.

            “I like your shirt,” he said, in a surprisingly pleasant and respectful voice. I had forgotten about Mr. Marley stretched across my chest, but remembered when I glanced down.

            “Oh, thanks.” I said.

            About that time the young man broke into a fit of coughing that sounded, and looked, so painful, that I wished I had a bottle of water to give him. He continued to cough all the way to Stout Street, and I was thankful he had the courtesy to have worn a bandana to keep from coughing out whatever he had to the rest of us…

May 26, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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