I have been shamelessly indulging myself in a BLEEDING HEART period for the last year. Perhaps personal issues have made me more sensitive, but I have been very observant of the difficulties that some people face in life and the trouble they have
just following the map of living and keeping on the road.
Many of them just give up and go to marijuana, cheap vodka, wine or Vicodin, Xanax and Soma. Life is just so damned desperate for them. These people have to be monitored, but just remember what got them there. I fully acknowledge that there are others who are just bums.
But some of them are courageous and downright inspirational. Especially, the single mothers who are trying so hard to raise their kids without a daddy who will contribute even the basic, minimal child support.
Yesterday, an attractive, diminutive young woman, twenty-something, wearing a red Popeye’s Chicken ball cap and a Popeye’s Restaurant polo shirt stood and waited for me. She had a small child, maybe five, beside her. The kid had one of those everything-is-alright-I-am-so-happy smiles on her face.
“Do you sell Gening Violet?”
“We do sell Gentian Violet,” I said and had her follow me to the shelf. “There are better things if you go to the doctor,” I said. “They won’t make such a mess.”
She shrugged. “This is good,” she said, “I don’t want to go to the doctor.” She
looked at me. “Do you have a medicine for worms. My mother said that my youngest child has worms because she can’t sleep.”
I told her that I didn’t think that insomnia was an indication of worms. “Have you looked at your child’s stool. There should be tiny white threads if it is pinworms.”
“I just want the medicine.”
Pin-X is OTC. It is old-fashioned. Parke Davis called it Povan 3 decades ago. Multiple doses are needed. I didn’t want her to spend the money if it was not needed. “Is your child scratching his bottom?”
“Oh yes. He has an itch.” This girl spoke very good English. She had a calm about her than I admired and she was going to take care of her child no matter what.
“You’d be better off going to the doctor. It would be just one pill then. What I can sell you takes multiple doses over a period of days. “
“I can’t go to the doctor. It is too much money.”
“Don’t you have Medicaid?”
“I make twelve hundred dollars a month. They say I make too much. I am an assistant manager but I don’t get benefits until I make manager, which I hope is soon. Then I will be on a salary.” She gave me a hopeful smile.
“How many kids?”
“Two…. five and three.”
I ordered the Pin-X. $20.00 for 12 tablets. Somebody was making a good buck. “It will be $15.00,” I said. “It will be here by eleven tomorrow morning.”
“Can I pay for it now?” She took a ten and a five from her thin wallet.
“You can pay for it when you pick it up.”
“I’m afraid that I won’t have the money in the morning.”
“You don’t have to pay for it at all.” I put my hand on her arm. “I am paying
it for you. You are a wonderful mother, Joi. I am ashamed of our society that you,
someone who is trying so hard, cannot get help. I want to help you a little.”
She gave me a wide eyed look and smiled. “Oprah,” she said.
“Oprah,” I answered and leaned over and kissed her forehead. “A Valentine’s present from an old white guy.”
“Thank you, Mister Jim.” I liked it that she knew my name.