The sign outside said they were hiring. A thousand thoughts went through my mind as I wanted to go in and get an application. "It would cause a rift in the family," were my final thoughts as I drove on, opportunity lost. I thought the rest of the day of being brash and just getting that job. Nervous. Unsure. I waited on me and my father's nightly rendezvous over crazy meds, sodas, and ample talk. I was gathering up the courage to ask him if I could take the plunge and join the ranks of the employed.
It was an uncommonly cool night for a July in the South as me and dad went for a drive out into the countryside. Lightning was flashing on the horizon down south way and I had on my winter pull-over it was so cool with the windows down. Sounds of katydids wafted in through the open windows as we passed out the wooded road towards God's country.
"Dad?" I asked and then hesitated.
"What son?" he said, finally rolling up the windows to block out the cool night air.
I swallowed hard. Now was the moment.
"How was your day?" I then asked, chickening out.
"Oh God!" my father exclaimed and would go on to talk for thirty minutes about how hard his day was.
It made my most pressing problem of having tons of hours in my day to fill seem not so bad or important. And my days lately have seemed so long and drawn out with little to do. I know for some of you that would be an enviable predicament. It makes me stir crazy though.
Dad needed someone to listen last night and it was no longer my place to speak. I just sat and loaned him my ear for the rest of our journey. I know it must be terribly odd for some of you to imagine a thirty five year old man having to ask for permission to work and get a job. I find it exasperating as well. To think – I was once homeless and living in a tent in the wild woods of Alabama. And now I can't even walk down to McDonald's and get a job flipping burgers without upsetting my family. That's all I want – a simple, mostly unobtrusive, low responsibility job to fill the time and to make some extra cash.
I didn't rock the boat last night and was just there for my father, and he really needed to vent. There is always tomorrow and I have done so well lately that maybe it is best not to upset the careful equilibrium we have established. Let's let time run its course. I have always had the knack of finding a job within a couple of days when I look so it's not like that job opportunity yesterday was my only recourse.