Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today i visited my gas station attendant friend, Hamid. Ever since the first time i had to put gas in my car in Quincy, i have gone to Hamid, because he is awesome and because i believe in loyalty.

Hamid always asks me how i am doing. The last time i was there, he also asked about my life in general, what i was doing. I told him i was in school and working, and that i was very busy. Hamid's English is good, but not great, and the conversation was had as we leaned across my passenger window, so we didn't get into a lot of detail about goals and dreams and personal histories. But he knows that i am there for gas every other week, unless i've had to run a lot of errands and visit him a week early. And he told me that i would be a beautiful teacher of English.

Today, he asked again how i was doing.
"I'm good. Busy."
"With work, and school? You are full time?"
"Yes, full time work and school. I am very busy."
"Oh, it must be very hard for you. You are doing okay?"
"Yes, i am doing okay. It is good to be busy."
He smiles. "And you are alone? You have someone to help you, to cook for you?"
Are you hitting on me, Hamid? i wonder. But all i say is, "I cook for myself." I say it with a smile.
"Ah. And your family?"
"They are far away. They are in another state, about eight hours away."
"Ah. It must be very hard. Or easy? You are happy, or no?"
"I have friends here, so i am happy."
"It is good. Good to have friends."
We are both smiling, because that is more than words.
"You have a good week. I see you later?"
"Yes. You too!"

As i pull away and head for the grocery store, Mumford and Sons is the soundtrack to my inner monologue.

Cold is the water
It freezes your already cold mind
Already cold, cold mind

It is hard. I am very busy, and i am so tired, so tired. My family is far away, a mixed blessing. My friends are near, also a mixed blessing. Sometimes i get stuck in my own head. I've been feeling pretty stuck lately.

And you have your choices
And these are what make man great 
His ladder to the stars

I am so lucky to be where i am. This is everything i wanted and more than i ever dreamed of, and it should be hard. If it were easy, it would hardly be worth having. The work is what will enable me to be what i should be, what i could be.

But you are not alone in this
You are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand
Hold your hand

I am not alone. I have Hamid, for one. And Benji, Emily, Larissa, John, and so many others. Hand-holding is powerful, whether it is actual fingers clasping or a smile shared over a half-opened passenger side window.

You are not alone in this
You are not alone in this

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