Another bad Friday
Bad things always happen on Fridays, and this being a Friday, I wait for it to happen.
I donít mean the head cold that keeps me sniffling the whole day.
Some things like that haunt me every day.
You put up with them.
And shrug if off it you can.
Itís harder standing all day five days a week.
By this time , Iím aching so much I get short with the customers.
Not all of them.
Just the nags.
And they seem to know this and pick Friday to pick on me.
This one lady tells me she bought a pair of pants on Monday and I shorted her on the change.
We both know she didnít give me a fifty, so I refuse to give her back the twenty she says sheís due.
I count the cash drawer every night.
I never have extra money.
In this neighborhood and with the kind of customers I have, I donít see fifties very often, except from the pimps and Iím especially careful when I handle their change.
I ache to tell the lady off, but sheís old and seems kind of sad.
I see something in her eyes like pain or fear, and I know itís life not me.
People say you can smell cancer on a person after a while, and sheís got the same smell my old lady had before cancer killed her.
Iím not saying I feel sorry for this crank, yet I donít slam into her the way I might someone else.
I tell her Iíll check in the back and slip behind the curtain, where I check nothing because there is nothing to check.
I pull out my wallet and ease out a twenty, then go out front again.
I tell her she was right and have her sign a slip I slip in the rash the moment her attention is turned to her purse.
Maybe I donít expect a thank you, but I donít expect her to get indignant either, telling me how incompetent I have, and how she ought to tell my boss.
She says sheíll be kind this time and let me go, warning me against making the same mistake again.
I tell her I wonít, seeing my $20 leave when she leaves, smelling the scent of death trail behind her like smoke.