Tomorrow is Yom Kippur. Monday. I have the day off. This evening at sundown will find me at Beth Emeth, reflecting quietly in the last row, my favorite place to sit. This is the place I go to honor Ed. Not far from where I sit is a wall with a brass plaque inscribed with Ed's name, the Jewish year of his birth, the Jewish year of his death. Each time I make a visit to Beth Emeth, I visit that plaque -- my two fingers touch it, my two fingers kiss my lips. I fight the tears.
There are deadlines here at 135 Stone Oaks. I'm behind in everything. The bathroom needs scrubbing, a stairway carpet begs vacuuming, that baby grand plays out of key. Tux and Izzy are fed. The gray roots on my head are dyed. This is my best. Working as sales associate at an upscale retail store is a craziness that saps physical energy, cripples my feet, and cramps my legs. It is a living, a job, and I tell myself, do it for fun. Ha. It's field work, fodder for future writing, for those days when I've quit and moved on to my next blog. See I cannot write about the dirt at the upscale retail store. I cannot share photos. I cannot tell what happens behind the scenes. I'd like to tell about a girl with big lips and a girl who reads lips, I'd like to share information about a woman from Russia who steals. There is so much to write about, but I can't, because, I am told if I do, I will be fired. Ha. When will people get the message--when one holds death in one's arms, when one watches life leap from this world into the next that fear is erased from the brain, forever. Because the true meaning of life--awakening--comes from that up close and personal experience -- impermanence.
There is a sale at the upscale retail department store. Employees receive 50% off everything. I watch as hardworking women who work for pennies, race about gathering velvet pleated Ralph Lauren jackets, silk Carmen Marc Valvo skirts, flocked Armani Collezioni suits, and Prada stretchy shirts in their arms. At 50% off the prices for these items are staggering. I wonder why they bother to collect a paycheck. A sales associate sweats as hard as any blue collar worker digging a ditch. Yet a ditch digger wouldn't rake over hard earned cash to purchase the dirt they just dug.
There is a jacket I modeled for other sales associates one early morning; velvet, buttoned, ribboned, ruffled, and pleated. It is the color of coal and size 6 fits like a glove. The price tag reads, $2,450.00. At 50% off, it is a steal. Or, so I am told. I am also told, You should have it. It's definitely you.
The 50% sale ended at midnight. I deposited my paycheck -- all $894.04 -- yesterday morning.
I know who I am. I know why I am here. I didn't buy one thing.
Thank you, Edward Sclier, wherever you are.