Friday, January 6, 2012


Every week I wait outside a packaging business at 3p.m. for Danny to emerge from a long day of assembling boxes, or taping boxes, or applying labels - whatever that week entails. The place is largely employed by individuals with special needs - providing them with a work environment catered to meet the individual's needs. There aren't many places that a person can work and completely lose focus for a moment, wander from their station, have an outburst or simply not show up, but be held accountable and still keep their job. This is one such place. Their approach says, "Yeah. We get it. Life's stressful. Work with us and we'll work with you.".

On any given day I witness an envious display here. At three o'clock, on the nose, a mass exodus bursts forth from a single glass door. In one thrust all are casting the offal of the day from one side of the pane to the other in a near stampede. This is how everyone feels when they leave work, but lack the bravery to display such exuberance. They spill out onto the side walk in a cackle of commotions, yelling to one another, igniting cigarettes with shared lighters, and one - my favorite of all - bursts forth in a flat out run, arms flailing, all the while screaming in pure joy to be done with it. He is my favorite because he most mirrors what I feel every Friday. Yet, he is not the only one in a sprint, a jog, a hustle to something beyond work. They all are and in an impressive tizzy.

Today one 20 something man zipped through the open door way and made a bee line toward me. I know his face. I know nothing beyond that. He, however, came up to me with the self-assured "HEY!" that likened years of well established friendship. He donned a Philadelphia Eagles cap, sneakers... and a three piece suit. He offered me a fist to bump. I was obliged. I considered "blowin' it up", but decided to keep it simple.
"How ARE you?", He queried.
"Good. Good...what about you?"
"Oh. Great!"
"You look sharp. What's the occasion?" I had to know.
"Nothing. Nothing. You know what I mean?" Then he paused.
"Yeah. Right on.". Awesome. Only in this place does a man, in complete self-confidence, wear a three piece suit and sneakers to tape boxes together.
Why am I not wearing gala gowns to file papers? Why don't I throw elbows and sprint for the exit at five o'clock, arms outstretched screaming hallelujah? That's how I feel, sincerely! Why not just "be" how I feel? What a great example.

He continues, "It's Friday! You know what I mean?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I totally do." I offer, and with it, another well deserved fist bump.