After 18 years at the Post Office Barbara quit. I drove her to work on her last day. I pulled up and she pulled out a twisted Rizla fat with weed from her vinyl purse.
We sat silent, smoking watching the American flags wave goodbye.
Since then, she’s been sleeping late, cooking big suppers for Michael and Michael Jr., but mostly she’s been waiting for the mail.
She’s been waiting for her check made out to a hard-working letter sorter. She was done.
“I’m not gonna use my hands anymore like that. I’m gonna get my nails done.”
“We’re gonna go to Wisconsin Dells and stay at a waterpark with the biggest slide when my mom gets her check.”
And when Barbara’s check finally did arrive every person on our block knew it (“Wooooohooooooo”!) and every person in the country can understand what it feels like after livin’ low and pinchin’ pennies to finally catch a cashflow.
You cannot cruise quietly to the bank. You cannot invest in the future (not right away).
You must dance on the front lawn, throw a small child into the air and speed towards something you can immediately consume, burn up. Something you have been saying “no no no” to for a long time.