There has not been a lot of time for writing. I'm busy, but enjoying meeting people. I'm beginning to realize that I was probably dealing with depression for the last year. It's one of those things that you scarcely realize how deep and black the pit was until you begin to climb out of it.
In any case, I have enjoyed interacting with people again. Since I deal with names, I recognize many of them, and look up to see faces that I haven't seen in years. I've met four of my old teachers from high school. A professor from college. She told me that she still goes to the library to read my column, which came as a surprise to me, given our history.
A middle aged man was picking up a prescription for a woman. He was a plain faced working man, tall and pleasant. I mistakenly assumed that he was picking up for his wife, and referred to him as Mr. -----. He quickly said, "Oh. I'm not Mr. -----. I'd give anything if I was." He got a confused look on his face and said, "Well. I guess that I mean that I'd give anything if she was Mrs. xxxx. (providing what was evidently his own name). A little surprised at the turn of events, I said, "Well, have you asked her?" and he said, "Oh, yes." He sighed. He said, "It's complicated." I patted his arm in a comforting way when I gave him his package. "Good luck to you," I said. And I continued putting packages away. wondering about a man who is not afraid to confess his love to a total stranger in a crowded pharmacy. That's sweet.
I met the mother of a girl that I played with in elementary school and she remembered me as soon as I said my little girl name. My childhood friend from all those years ago just became a grandmother for the first time.
An extremely elderly couple came slowly through the store, she a tiny thing hunched over her walker, her husband tall and very thin, standing ramrod straight behind her. She stopped frequently to greet people, to tell a small child how beautiful she was. He smiled and listened as if he never got tired of seeing the world through her eyes. And by the time they reached the counter, I loved them already. Retrieving their prescriptions and chatting with the two of them, I rang them up, and handed the bag to the gentleman. "Would you mind carrying the bag for milady?" They both laughed out loud and he answered, "I think that's why she keeps me around."
I've met grumpy people. Angry people. Sick people. Relatives. Friends. Readers. I talked to them all, and tried to send everyone off with a good word. And in those small interactions, repeated one right after another, for 8 hours, 9 hours, 10 hours, even 12 hours, I feel like I am rediscovering something about myself that I'd forgotten.