Frozen Opportunity

Pumping GasI’ve been struggling this winter more than the last few; trying to keep on the air side of the black, bottomless water that is depression. Winter can feel so deep and cold and endless.

This morning I pulled into a FasGas service station to fill up and there to help me was a bronze skinned man, mid to late thirties, working the pump. Maybe he was Colombian, or Venezuelan, or from Mexico. He had the hood on his winter jacket pulled up over his ears, but he looked frozen.

After I paid for the fuel, I said ‘thanks for the help’ and goodbye, but he hardly acknowledged me. No smile. Just a little nod and an accented, unrecognizable whisper.

I couldn’t help but wonder how he was managing his life in a wintry Alberta.

Had he given up love or family in a home land for this?
To pump gas in a snowy, frozen world.
To be unseen, unnoticed and unacknowledged every day in exchange for minimum wage.

As I drove away, I wondered what his dreams were.
If he was happy here.
If he had love.
If he struggled to keep his head above black water.
If he wanted to pull the covers over his head instead of get out of bed each morning.

Or if he was grateful for employment, and any opportunity in this country.

Or if it was all a projection of the movie in my mind.
Maybe he doesn’t think about it at all.

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