Lunch time is not as fun as it used to be at the old job though......
I went to the Salvation Army alone today because I haven't been there since I left my old shitty job in Oakbrook Terrace. I walked by the ugly furniture that wasn't sold from the last time and headed toward the other side of the store where I spotted at least 50 white wedding dresses of all styles and sizes hanging on a rack. They were packed on the hangers--bottom hems billowing out into the aisle soiled by hundreds of passing shoes and making a profound social statement that I couldn't decode. Could this be the jetsam of recent June brides? I inspected the lot for stains and imperfections or anything that might explain how they wound up hanging with the rest of the stuff that has been cast aside by our society.
Further down in the electronics aisle were a couple of Hispanic men--one was pondering whether he should take a chance and purchase one of two Blackberries (handheld electronic devices) that were sitting on the shelf. Undoubtedly long dead. The other was looking at an old Nokia cell phone--still in the box with a garish American flag cover plate that looked like it had never been used.
Never before has the selection at Salvation Army looked so shabby.
Nothing in the books section: just the grinning mug of Jack Welch, asshole ex-CEO from GE peering out from the 3rd shelf. This was the self-congratulatory book that every MBA or MBA wannabe just had to read or be seen with about 6 or 7 years ago. No good CDs. Not even anything to buy as a joke. No good coffee cups with lame inscriptions. The cup from the American Lung Association is still sitting on the shelf. Who the fuck would want to drink coffee from a Lung Association coffee cup anyway? I just visualize someone with TB using it as a sputum receptacle at some point. The fiber drum in the corner of the store--normally a cornucopia of filthy personal effects ranging from scuffy-looking canes, dirty crutches, and ancient golf clubs--was nearly empty.
On the way out, I held the door open for a woman and her sobbing pre-teen daughter. Just as they got to the door I was holding for them, the woman smacked the girl in the head--bringing more cries, sobs and protests. I was suddenly overpowered with feelings of ambivalence and some sadness. I had held the door for a woman who was just hit her kid. I wondered if the kid hated me at that moment for being polite to her mother.
The Salvation Army is always a huge mindfuck for me. It is a funny place at times, but there is always sadness. It's about poverty, loss, death, decay. Yesterday's objects that didn't quite make it.
Broken stuff, broken people.