Learning Life Lessons in Line

Swung past Ross today, trying to find a cheap pair of sandals. Checking out at Ross can be problematic at times, you try to gage which line will move. Is that little old lady going to double check the recipient or worse try to write a check? Is this guy buying or returning?? Well today I guessed correctly, I was in the trickle lane, not the stagnant dead lane. So I waited, tapping my feet and taking little half steps as necessary. And as I waited, I looked out upon the growing sea of humanity and spied a bored older gentleman, wandering near the door. Every now and then he would glance at the other lane, the stagnant still and inert lane, every now and then he'd glance, and smile and sigh. Soon he is looking at shoes, or leaning against the racks of luggage lining the wall, while scratching the back of his bald head against the suitcases behind him. Seeing no one behind me he heads my way and gets in line. He has nothing to buy.

I take a small half step, and realizing that he is attached to the older lady in stagnant line comment on his holding pattern. "Yes", he says with a smile and a wink "and to think I could have stayed in the car"

We move forward, him and I. He says something about the joys of waiting for Her, and says it just that right measure of irksome joy, and I can see it's something he gets to do rather than something he has to do.

Laughing I take another half step, saying that I hoped to someday fully understand all that he means

He turns and looks at me ~

~ looks me in the eyes

inhales slowly thru his nose, sizes me up and with a small nod - "Amen"

It's my turn to buy now and as I approach the register, I hear him call to his wife, I can hear his smile "Dearest - I am yours, if you need me"

Smart old man - getting in another line, doubling their chances
I'll have to remember that one



I striped my pants off, the large dark stains were starting to stiffen. As I stepped into the shower I could smell his blood still under my finger nails - would have to scrub those. The EMT said peroxide or color safe bleach would be best for the clothes, and not to worry about the blood - as long as I had no cuts myself.

Did not see the accident, did not see Chris hit the divider - he must have been just seconds ahead of Nicole and I.

His car was smoking. He was screaming.

Blood - lots of blood.

He was hurt. Bad.

Really bad.

Blood in his eyes, holes in his face, screaming, giving his name, his rank, his serial number.

Fading in and out, coming to with a scream.

I am close - helping people stop the bleeding - his chin has red stubble on it. He is just a kid in the national guard. 20. and . . . Stay with me CHRIS - TALK TO ME CHRIS!


He still has a pulse.

I'm holding him, he has a little booger that sticks out of his nose which quivers when he breathes. His eyelashes are full of sticky blood and he is screaming.

Help is coming, Stay with me Chris?


Hang in there Chris.

Chris they're here - they're here Chris.

Out of state plates -

I hope there is someone he knows with him when he wakes up.

I wash his blood of my knees and watch it run down the drain - wondering.