Encounter With A Cliché

I was standing on line in CVS today and couldn’t help but notice the man working behind the counter. Who was he? A thirty-ish year old fellow, short, slightly pudgy, he looked almost exactly like a lot of people that I’ve seen before. Maybe I had seen him before. I wouldn’t know. He looked like a human cliché.

What were his hopes, I thought silently to myself. What are his is ambitions? What excites him to the verge of ecstasy, what is he passionate about? In other words, (but the same words I used before) who was this man?

I didn’t ask him any of these questions, if that’s what you’re wondering. That would have been weird. No, I resigned myself to the usual pleasantries and left the store just like every customer he had ever serviced before and after. I left without so much as a goodbye. But the thought of this man still lingered with me long after I had driven away from the store. Why was an adult man, far older than myself, working the counter at CVS? That really has to suck… Panic began to grip me. Is it because of the economy? Are things really that bad? What if… I end up like him? Behind the counter of a CVS?!… What if things are really that bad?…

Well, I didn’t have an answer to those questions at the time so I hastily dispelled them from my mind like a dead rat. Lying in bed tonight though, the currents of my thoughts (inevitably?) brought them back to the surface, and I think I have the answers now.

Sure that guy looked depressing as hell, slightly belittled in his inferior position of servitude, but even if I were to end up standing behind that exact same counter ten, twenty years from now, I can take comfort in the fact that I am not him. Sure my job might suck and I won’t have much by way of extravagance in my life, but I know what interests me, I know what I’m passionate about and (hopefully) I will never forget those things. Even if I end up as a “lowly” CVS clerk scanning bar codes all day long, I’ll be able to come home at night and retreat to the solitude of a great novel or ponder the nature of light, the universe. I don’t have to be depressing. I can still be me no matter how shittacular of a job I end up landing. And I’m ok with that.

Such are thoughts to set dreams afloat.

-Mirabeau B.

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