Walk Down Misery Street

STRANGE VISIONS

 

“Look at the trashcan!”

 

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 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. “Yesterdaaay, all my troubles seemed so far awaaay…”

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 God, is this my grand mission on Earth?! Why are You so cruel to me?!”

 

The scarecrow in front of the University

 

Not far from the Time Warner building is the Church of St. Paul the Apostle. I went there during lunch often, turning off my annoying walkie-talkie.

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