Since the middle of January, our household income has all but come to a halt. When everyone is worried about not catching a virus that can kill and are locked down to avoid contact with others, they generally don’t shop for fitness wear it turns out. And they most definitely don’t book a photo shoot. As we sit here burning through money with nothing coming in to replace it, I decided to get a job. I’m not a trained doctor or truck driver, nor do I possess any other essential skills someone would find valuable at this time. But my former life as a police officer did leave me adept at spotting miscreants and nare-do-wells and otherwise ill-intentioned individuals that are up to no good. All that and my lack of any semblance of self-preservation at sixty years of age did make me suitable for something that is deemed essential though.
I have a buddy that owns a security company so recently, after securing the appropriate credentials, I gratefully accepted a position as a security gaurd. I work twelve hour nightshifts protecting valuble property. And it’s the best job I have ever had in my entire life.
I am an introvert. That means while I enjoy people and interacting with them, I am not energized by the experience. I need time alone afterward to recharge and get focussed again. In the first week at work I exchanged words with a grand total of three human beings while on duty. I did see some shady charachers but my presense was enough to dissuade them from doing something silly. The owners investment in my expertise was money well spent and with that in mind I felt needed, useful and generally good about what I was doing.
I’m not saving lives, but I am feeding my kids and I am and grateful to have the opportunity and ability right now to do that.
While I was at my post in the darkest hours of night, I stopped to gaze at our flag. It was lit brightly and snapping crisply and loud in the cold night wind. Behind it shone the skyward spotlight that sits atop the Luxor on a Vegas strip that has fallen silent and barren. And then it saw it. The cloud hovering over it all. It was shaped like a skull, ominous and hovering. It was symbolic of the threat we all face, together.
A few minutes later though, the sky shifted and the skull was gone. In it’s place a fluffy and non-descript shape one would expect to see in any normal night sky.
But our nation’s beautiful flag remained. Bright. Bold. And strong.