:: A Woman Works ::
She’s been on the job for 19 years.
She had a certain heaviness about her. Liz didn’t see it. I couldn’t help but see it. Liz chided me about seeing only this part of people’s lives. To watch myself. Liz saw joy and strength. I saw something else … not sure what yet.
Maybe it was strength … but at a cost.
Strength at a cost.
We chased her and her partner Kenny for about an hour. We came up to a huge pile of garbage and I watched her walk up to it and paused momentarily. I asked her,
“Hey Mary, so everyday, you see this big pile of trash, right?”
She said, “Unh huh…”
“And so, everyday, do you just look at it and go ‘Oh. My. God.’ ?”
She laughed and said, “Yeh, Every day, that’s right. ‘Oh Lord!’”
She has two sons. One that just got married. She wants that marriage to go well – she’s waiting and watching … We followed her for a long time in a pretty nice area of the Bronx – Riverdale. Cars would come up and honk and threaten and hassle her and her partner.
She held up her hands and said, “I can get you a pair of gloves and this’ll go faster.” And that would shut them up.
She kept saying to us, “I can’t believe this is what I do everyday. I never saw my life as being like this.”
Does any of us? Does any of us see our lives turning out the way they do?
She’s retiring within the year. And she’s going to relax.
This is Mary. Mary Russell.
::: ::: :::
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