Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I need help


There was a puddle of yellow goo on the chair next to me at Social Services today.

"Don't sit there," I warned the lady. It had to be pee. It looked just like pee.

"Don't sit there," the lady repeated to her own child, a boy of about five.

He opted for the seat next to the soiled one and she went to stand in the line for social assistance.

With her back turned, her boy took his pointer finger and waved it in the air, with a rascally grin. The finger dove straight into the liquid and took a direct course right into his mouth.

I felt my insides tighten.

Surely he learned his lesson. But the little chemist wasn't content with his first taste test. He went in for a double dip.

I tried not to think about it. I pulled out my cell phone and started texting.

Half way between "What did you" and "get for Christmas," the child lunged for me, his hands about to touch my arm.

Apparently, he thought my cell was a PSP.

"AHHHH!" I shouted. My entire body flinched.

Heads turned. People frowned at me.

At that moment, I realized I looked like the crazy one. "He hand urine hands," I wanted to say. But it wasn't THAT kind of place. It was the kind of place where you don't speak. You judge with your eyes.

While my eyes wondered, "How did they end up here: unemployment? drugs? divorce? medical problem?," they thought, "What kinda of person screams at a little kid?"

For the rest of my SS visit, I kept my eyes shut and my thoughts quiet.


(Have you ever had to humble yourself and ask for assistance? How did it make you feel?)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i'd panhandle in the street before i'd sit next to an undisciplined urine tasting moron and his clearly overwhelmed handout seeking stereotype mom.