Tuesday, April 24, 2007

When You Know Something Stuck

While exiting via the stairwell from the oral surgeon's office after AGB's follow-up visit, we passed a uniformed man in his mid-20s, sitting near the bottom landing where he'd parked his cleaning cart. He neither acknowledged us, nor stirred as we passed. He stared silently straight ahead, doing nothing we could detect other than breathing.

"What's he doing? Is there something wrong with him?" asked AGB. At least he waited until the stairwell door had closed. I had the same question. But being the mother, I had to answer. That's what mothers do.

"Well," I said quietly, trying to exercise Christian judgement, "Cleaning can be strenuous physical labour. He looks like he's just taking a break. Perhaps he needed to rest his feet." I felt some pity but had a slight suspicion, based on the time of day, that he might just be dogging his work detail.

"Looks more like he's hiding out," AGB retorted (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree). Then after a pause, he added:

"He's probably sitting there regretting he didn't work harder in school."

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