Bottles & Cans



He wakes at 11:20 PM. Groggy, hungry, and almost late for work, he speeds through his midnight routine to hit the freeway in time to clock in for his graveyard shift. It is a slow night at this 24 hour copy and print retail store. He is displeased with this job, to say the least. For he, the overnight guy, is responsible for picking up all the slack of the day shift employees before the store seemingly opens at 7:00 AM. The out-dated machines are failing, orders aren’t legible, and the few customers coming in interrupt concentration.

Once calmed, the electronic doors open and he reluctantly looks up to find no one. Doors close. Doors open, again. Close once more. Still no one. Opening again with no body in sight, he investigates to find Whitey, an unhoused wanderer who instantly and sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience he brought upon the storefront while rifling through the outside garbage can searching for recyclables.

Returning to his station, still trying to decipher orders, he is distracted with the realization that there is an overflow of bottles and cans in the break room. He rushes to collect all he can and handed Whitey enough recyclables to put a meal in his growling belly and change in his yearning pocket.

Whitey’s gratefulness ended all the negative vibes carried into work that night and left him energized for the rest of his shift. In thanks, Whitey insisted on praying with him, praising the heavens for the blessing of B. Fort.

Pause. Rewind.

You never know what giving may bring.

Lesson relearned.

Let yourself give and receive this week.



Photo: Imagination Kingdom booth at the Chocolate & Art Show, Downtown Los Angeles



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