You Can’t Keep a Good Girl Down

Today, at the bodega, a nondescript middle-aged woman was at the register ahead of me. She let out a little whoop and then exclaimed, “I can live again.” She closed her wallet and walked to the door, and then she gave a thumbs up. “You can’t keep a good girl down.”

When she’d gone, I asked the proprietor what had happened. Had she just won a quick pick?

“No,” he explained. “She’d just gotten her food stamps. You work, right? She should have been thanking you, and me, and this guy.” He pointed to a black man waiting to buy lottery tickets. “He works for the transit authority.”

We made a sorry lot. Four people in various stages of middle-age and the lower middle-class, with our vices. The woman with the food stamps had probably been buying soda, though I can’t swear to that. I was buying tobacco to roll cigarettes for when the headache from quitting becomes untenable, and the guy running the bodega was cataloging all our vices — the small routines that bind us to this precarious here and now.


Leave a comment

Filed under Observations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s