I take public transportation to work everyday. I don’t own a car right now (which often times seems like a liability in the dating world…btw) and I am trying to get my other finances and the PhD situation straightened out before I get into a loan for a depreciating debt. But I digress….
I get to work about 7:30 and leave work around 4:30. My commute isn’t long at all (about 45 minutes). Most days I sit and read a book or play around on my Blackberry to pass the time….trying to ignore begging drug addicts, rude teenagers, loud, boorish men, and other unpleasantries.
Yesterday, I sat on the bus and just looked around. I didn’t see a single man on my shuttle from work. Most of the women were black, older, round and shapely…Their hands were withered and labored. They breathed hard breathes, as if they had exasperated themselves completely. Some wore work uniforms, denoting their roles as custodial or cooking services. Some, like me, wore business casual attire. But they all had one thing in common: their souls looked so bothered and tired. They appeared burdened and exhausted. Granted, the day could have worn them out. No one LIKES to work at a place that undermines, undervalues and underappreciated them. But…they looked like they worked and slaved all day for absolutely nothing…and those that they were going home to absolutely nothing.
I admit the latter is a total assumption on my part. But it just appeared to be that way. I wondered: Do these women go home to loving, hardworking husbands? Or a husband who isn’t sh*t? Or no one at all? A cat? Or several cats? Do they eat a perfectly portioned dinner for one alone in front of the TV everyday? Do they eat at all? Or maybe read their bibles or listen to music? Did some of the other women have children or grandchildren? Or none at all? I caught the eye of a woman I used to work with in another department. She spoke to me in her usual lively voice and I smiled and returned the greeting. I knew for a fact she was well into her 60’s, college educated, unmarried, and had lived with a brother who died not too long ago. She owned her own home and lived alone. She had been working the same job for what seemed like 35 or more years.
I sat frozen and paralyzed once the bus stopped... The women had long departed and I had to snap out of it. Tears rolled down my face and quickly wiped them off. I said to myself “Oh God. What if this is me in another 20 years. Doing the same routine day after day…and coming home to absolutely nothing?” In my case, I ‘m allergic to cats so there would be NOTHING. Not even a cat. (And I do not want to turn into “cat lady”)
It was a very harsh thing to possibly see your future reflected in the faces of women you saw everyday. It was as if someone held The Wicked Witch’s magic mirror up to your face…and you saw what was inside you…and what could be your future.
It’s up to me to try and change it. I hope by making small strides I am doing just that.