Community service sucks, obviously, but if you are like me, you can make the best of it. Since April of last year (it's been that long - although I have slacked here and there) I have been working at a thrift store. But not any thrift store. This one is special in that all of the proceeds go towards providing health care for the Chicago LGBT community. Pretty sweet.
It might sound gross, but digging through mountains of used clothing has afforded me an almost entirely new wardrobe. More importantly, I have met a plethora of new people; young, old, black, white, gay, straight, cool, bullshit and everything in between. But out of everyone I have met - one stands out in particular, and her name is Angelica.
At first I thought she was standoff-ish; a 70 year old woman with a thick German accent and a no non-sense demeanor, as yet another fuck up doing his time as easy as possible. But once she realized I bust my ass, she opened up, ever so slowly, day by day. Eventually, we discovered we have many things in common; a love for Chicago, Photography, Gays and working in restaurants.
Fast forward to yesterday; I was tasked to acquire materials for T's art show. Nick knacks, portrait frames, clothing, etc. I assumed I could ask the GM to borrow said objects, but Angelica set me straight: "Don't even bother, here..." And she wrote down the address to her home, helped me stuff bags full of stuff, and sent me on my way.
I walked a few blocks over to the address she gave me, loot in hand, and surprised her equally cool husband, relaxing in a rocking in a chair on the porch. "Hi, I'm Justin, I know your wife from..." He cut me off saying he knew who I was, even though we never met before. I obeyed his suggestion to place my objects on his porch, waved goodbye and promised to return late.
After Angelica and I had had enough of the stifling heat that exists in our workplace, we accompanied each other back to her residence, where she kindly invited me in for lime infused ice water. Her place is like a museum, albeit, one that you don't feel awkward not taking your shoes off. Her husband was translating ancient Greek next to a grand piano. They do not own a TV.
Glass of water in hand, I joined them on the porch and just chatted for nearly an hour. It's one of my favorite memories of the Summer, better than getting crazy at a Phish show, or hooking up with some Rando - better in fact. Maybe it's just I'm maturing (not getting OLD! - was carded for smokes yesterday, haha). Maybe it's just something new. Or maybe, it's...simple and need a calming influence.