By Sue Trollip
The other night I drove to the city. Nostalgia hit as those lights came into view. Action, excitement, people. I sighed, did my shopping and went home to the pitch dark of suburbia.
Yesterday I worked a long long shift in three different departments.
I started with coffee and before I’d finished my first cup I’d been offered a
house dog sitting job, then it was down to business in front of the computer. I’ve had several dog sitting jobs since I’ve been here and only one family had met me before. The rest were because of people we both knew. When the mum of a Chihuahua I’d babysat one weekend told her friend I’d look after their Labrador I sent a text saying ‘Would you like to meet me before you go so you can see if you like the look of me.’ And she replied with a smiley face saying ‘I do like the look of you because the Chihuahua’s mum likes the look of you.’ And that I guess is the story of life in a small town.
Then I moved on to what I like to call my ‘smile and wave’ job. When I first started working there it was as though I was a ghost, nobody looked at me unless they had a problem. Now I’ve become a fixture, a harmless gargoyle who talks. There are regulars who eat at the café there. There’s the man with the bushy grey beard who rides his bicycle everywhere and usually pauses to tell me a little about his day. There’s the dude who likes to discuss the weather with me. The older man with the crick in his spine who smiles and says hello but nothing else and the short man who’s always in a hurry but never fails to ask how I’m doing as he dashes past. And Mr and Mrs Tall and Skinny who sometimes greet me and at other times are lost in conversation and continue past as though I’m not there.
Finally I moved into the ER and … well that’s all I can tell you because what happens in the ER stays in the ER.
Just before midnight, I drove home beneath a huge yellow moon. Suburbia is not the city by any stretch, but the movies are only 30 minutes away and somehow there’s something comforting about living in a place where I get to smile and wave even when I’m not at work.