All in a day’s work.
“Let me feel your hands,” he asked, before extending his right arm toward mine.
One of my therapy clients had just accused me of “never working a day in my life” and wanted physical evidence of how easy I had it.
I laughed at the irony of the situation, as the evidence of my working was right in front of his face. “What do you need to feel my hands for?” I asked. “You know exactly what I do for a living.”
I was reminded of this conversation Saturday while standing on a hardened mound of snow with a large plastic shovel in my hands and utility boots on my feet. Vinny and I were finally making strides to unearth our Honda, which had been fossilized by several feet of ice and snow over the past two weeks. It was a hell of an undertaking as every snowplow in the county appeared to have rolled down Broadway in the interim, essentially burying the vehicle in a copious mix of snow, filth and salt which had now hardened like a rock and clung like a barnacle. Last week the snow was vanilla soft-serve. Now it had deep freezer burn.
The top layer was pretty easy to scoop away, but once we started going lower we realized our grave error in letting this task go ignored for the past week. Plastic shovels work great in sand but serve no purpose in ice, and it was starting to look like that freakin’ groundhog was about to cost us a fortune in parking tickets as this car wouldn’t be leaving this spot until the ground thawed in mid to late April. Or July, the way this winter’s been going.
And then, like some kind of urban fairytale, two sanitation workers parked their plow truck behind our car. They walked toward us with ice picks and metal shovels, their neon green bibs gleaming like shields. They started stabbing the ice around our car with the pick so Vin and I could easily scoop it away. They dug and dug until the ground was clear, and waited until Vin warmed up the engine to make sure we were truly free. Everything was working out so well that my hopes climbed too high; as more and more snow was brushed off the car I started feeling the anticipation of a dramatic reveal, as some part of my brain actually began to believe that all that snow was actually a magic dust sprinkled from the sky, the kind that turns soap into bars of gold and 15-year-old Hondas into brand new Mini-Coopers. Alas, that was not the case.
Still, we were happy as clams and super grateful to the city, who put these two hard-working fellas in our path. They were our knights in rubber armor, and they were clearly doing the kind of job my client would describe as work.
Vin shook their hands. I wanted to touch them.