There is a guy, we'll call him Otis (not his real name of course) who comes by the store almost every day. He drinks like a fish, lives with his sister, and roams the neighborhood every day until his sister returns home from work. She won't let him in the house unless she's there, so he's sort of left unchecked.
He takes out the trash at the restaurant next door and in return they feed him breakfast. What he does the rest of the day is a mystery except he usually stops by the store to tell some stories about driving to New York overnight or to California in 6 hours and asks us all for a dollar.
To his credit, he doesn't make up some lame excuse about needing the money to buy food or diapers for his 8 kids. (he doesn't have any kids, but tells us he does; the number varies between 3 and 10, depending on how deep in the bag he is at the moment) Nope, he straight up admits he's buying a bottle with it.
The only other time I see him is at the end of our parking lot directing traffic into and out of the 6 lane street in front of our store. I pray to God these people realize he's blotted out of his mind at the time 'cause otherwise it'll look like that episode of Sponge Bob where he ends up directing all of Bikini Bottom into one gigantic pile up.
Today, after yet another of his incoherent visits where he downed the contents of one of those airplane size liquor bottles one of my co-workers made the comment "he's probably happier than all of us".
Now, I don't think a raving alcoholic whose eyes are the color of Curious George's buddy The Man With the Yellow Hat's lid and who upon counting down from 10 before downing his bottle missed 8, 5, and 3 is "happier" but I get what my friend was saying. Otis has no clue gas is $4 a gallon or we're in 3 separate wars. He probably has no idea who Sarah Palin is (he IS lucky) or how some lunatic opened fire on those people in Arizona and killed Dallas Green's granddaughter. He doesn't worry about paying the mortgage or kids college funds or if the Red Sox are ever going to reach .500.
In many ways, he's like a kid; gets up, does his thing, and goes to bed without a care in the world except for where his next bottle is coming from. And except for the fact it's a race against time to see which goes first, his liver or his mind, you ALMOST envy the guy.
I don't know why this hit me like it did today. I've seen this guy almost every day for the last 3 years and I've never really thought this deep about it. Maybe it's the Red Sox scuffling so bad. Could be the fact Trot, instead of calming down seems to be channeling his inner Bart Simpson more and more every day. For all I know it's Ciera turning into a teenager and me turning slowly but surely towards middle age.
Although if I had to guess?
If the Sox were in first place I don't know that I'D know gas was $4 a gallon.
Building for Keeps
1 week ago