A Walk Down Misery Street

He was taken aback. He looked around as if searching for an escape path.

“Ke-vin!! Ke-vin!!!” thundered the audience.

Kevin blinked several times, then, head bowed low, uttered:


“Kevin! Why were you silent this whole time?! Why did you torture yourself and us?! Brother!”




“Look at the trashcan!”

Gradually, I got used to my studies. Month after month was passing by. After classes, I took a subway from Queens to Manhattan in order to “make hours” working as a security guard in the supermarket of the Time Warner building.

If you want to know what my job entailed, I’ll tell you in a few words. During my eight-hour shift, I was standing next to the high trashcan. Upon the decision of my supervisor, I should hence and forever have the post on the first floor of the supermarket, near the escalator next to the trash bin. My assignment was to watch out and protect. To watch out that the trash bin didn’t overflow and, if it did happen, to report it promptly to the supervisor. To watch out for emergencies—swearing, falls, fighting customers on the floor. To look for suspicious persons—possible shoplifters. But the main task, however, as my supervisor constantly reminded me, was to keep an eye on the trashcan.

I stood, shifting from foot to foot. During this time, I either thought about tomorrow’s exam at school or quietly sang my favorite songs. ““Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?”

The first two or three hours of the shift were spent with such thoughts and singing. Towards the fourth hour, my mood was getting seemingly worse, with no desire to sing anything. The last couple of hours of the shift were deathly torture. My legs felt as though they were made of steel from the long hours of standing in the same spot. My back ached.

“Oh Lord, why are You so cruel to me?!”