A Walk Down Misery Street

Sometimes I guarded the entrance to the underground garage in the supermarket. I stood by the wide entry in my cap and wrinkled uniform, which was a size too large for me. From the side, I probably looked like my favorite character from the famous story “Wizard of Oz,” the straw man called Scarecrow.

Once, overtaken by curiosity, I decided to track where these students went to study, which college. Leaving my post in the garage, I followed them and soon found myself by the beautiful building of Fordham University.

I did not know anything about this University then. This building was located across the street from the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, but I had never paid attention to the university’s building.

I stood for a few minutes in front of this building, examining its beautiful glass facade and the students and teachers who came through its doors. The weather was wonderful, and I didn’t want to leave.

To the right of the square at the entrance, birch trees grew, and under their canopy stood a bronze sculpture of some saint in a torn frock. I went there and sat down on the granite slab. Turning my face towards the gentle sun rays, I closed my eyes. I listened to the chirping of birds on the birch branches and the roar of the cars passing by. The bell rang in the Church of St. Paul the Apostle.

Ding… Dong—a deep, powerful boom rang through the air, muffling all the other sounds.

Suddenly some strange visions began to appear before me. It was as if I saw my future: myself as a student of this university, my future wife, and my own daughter. I saw myself, in a white lab coat, in the emergency department of some hospital, saving a patient from a drug overdose. These visions made me feel a bit dizzy, and I lost track of time.

Ding… Dong—rang the bell.

Suddenly my walkie-talkie squealed, returning me to reality. It was my shift supervisor at Time Warner asking where I was and why had I left the post and what was the situation on the floor.

I squeezed the walkie-talkie in my hand. Such anger seized me that I could hardly resist throwing the damn radio on the ground and breaking it.

“God damn him and his f..king trashcan!” I got up and trudged back to the supermarket, to my post.