Night Shift

I had to work late last night, long enough to see the cleaning crew. Maria is the cleaning lady I met once before, but it was almost a year ago and I forgot some of the details of her life. Still, I did remember that she had a son in the army and when I asked her about him, she really lit up, like it was the nicest thing in the world to have remembered that.

She said he was still in Afghanistan.

“You have another kid, right?”

“Two more boys, the twins.”

“And they’re still in high school?”

“No more. They graduated. They’re in the army now, too.”

Her twins graduated high school last month and now they’re in basic training. She said they’ll probably go to Afghanistan, too, and even though Maria will worry about them there, she said she’s glad all her boys will be together.

I was thinking it sounded just like Saving Private Ryan, but before I said that to her, I remembered that three out of the four brothers died in the movie, so I decided not to say anything.

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4 Responses to Night Shift

  1. annoyed reader says:

    Dude, what you count as some kind of new experiment and practice in reaching out and connecting with people, is what normal, well-rounded, fulfilled people have been doing forever. This isn’t really the kind of experience to document for public entertainment on a blog.

    These tales are what you should be telling your shrink in confidence, as proof that you’re making progress in becoming a more normal and complete human being like everyone else, and less of a sociopath.

    How cute that you seem to actually want a pat on the head for doing what you should have been doing all along, and what fully-functioning human beings do all day every day, all around you.

    I have more respect for the cleaning lady. She just doesn’t blog about the small talk she made with you, as some kind of pathetic accomplishment.

  2. Alex says:

    It’s amazing how something as small as remembering something someone told you a long time ago can really make their day. You’re changing people’s lives, one little interaction at a time!

  3. Alex says:

    … and too annoyed reader, I would just say yes, this is the kind of thing well-rounded people do, but seriously, how many truly well-rounded people in the world are there? How many times has a complete stranger approached you out of a legitimate interest in what you’re doing?

  4. Tam Frager says:

    To annoyed reader:
    If it annoys you, why are you reading?
    I know very few people who are able to step outside of their own egos to engage in conversation with someone they’ve never met. Most people are too afraid of how the other person will perceive them. Because People Person has (had?) to work himself up to this, because it doesn’t (didn’t) come naturally to him, this blog can be a reassuring tool for anyone who wishes they had the skill and demeanor to meet people.

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