Friday, January 18, 2008

The Angry Young Guy Cries

I have certain names for different grocery delivery people. There is the Smiling Gal, who is the only female delivery person I've had. Then there's the Really Helpful Guy, the Kind Ex Linebacker Guy (who could, I think, lift a horse) and the Angry Young Guy.

So last night in the midst of a snow and sleet event, my grocery order came after 9 p.m. and the person who delivered it was the Angry Young Guy, who was even angrier than usual because of the bad weather. It takes very little to make the Angry Young Guy even angrier - things like my inability to sign my name, much less hold the clipboard or pen he thrusts at me angrily - or my inability to stay "out of his way" in my house because of the wheelchair I use. Everything probably makes the Angry Young Guy angrier, so certainly snow and sleet would do it.

"Rotten weather outside," I said to him.

"Sure is," he snarled, carrying bags of groceries. He dumped them, as usual, in front of the kitchen sink - my only sink- where they can't stay because I need to get at the sink. (You see we removed the bathroom sink so I could transfer onto the toilet and now I have one sink- a fact that doesn't bother me except when it's, uh, blocked.)

"Can you put those over there?" I asked as usual.

Now here's the thing: the Really Helpful Guy, the Smiling Gal and even the Kind Ex Linebacker Guy all remember to do this. The Angry Young Guy , who has been here at least six times, continues to pile the umpteen bags in front of the sink. Sometimes I don't ask him to move them, but last night all my help had gone home and so I dared to utter the Words that Would Bring a Scowl.

He grunted and scowled and moved the bags. After taking care of paperwork, he started out the door.

"Stay safe," I said, seeing the snow falling beyond the door he held open.

He turned and looked at me. "I will. Don't worry about me." Then he paused. "Why are you so nice to me?"

This completely floored me. I suppose I am nice to him even though I think of him as the Angry Young Guy. I shrugged. "Because you remind me of me at your age," I replied.

You see the Angry Young Guy told me one day that he is paying his own way through college and working umpteen jobs. He also told me the truck he drives scared him the first time he came.

So he goes to class, studies and works and that's about all he gets to do. And sometimes, like last night, I see tears well up in his eyes because he's so tired. And scared. And he's very young. Too young, I think, to be doing all of this in such a hard way. Too young to be out in this bitter cold, snow and sleet driving a huge truck and hauling groceries.

Anyway, the Angry Young Guy didn't look very angry when he offered to close the door behind him and lock it. In fact, the Angry Young Guy was crying.

So was I.

{Thank you Jerry for your help in posting this!]