I went to Harris Teeter tonight to buy some lunch for tomorrow and the man who served me was very clearly mentally handicapped. He shoveled my pulled pork chicken into the plastic container in a slow, deliberate way. He spilled a few strands on another deli dish but was kind and helpful. I couldn’t help but think of Takkin, my brother, who would probably never hold a job, but if he did it would be one like this. Thank you, I said, and meant it. He smiled and told me to have a good day. Should we be thankful for the people we are? Should we feel guilty for what we have? I’m not sure, but my heart felt full accepting that plastic container from the man. I hope he has a good life.
Nijoon, my grandma, came over to my dad’s house to see me. She kissed me three times on the cheek and told me in Farsi that my visit had made her week. She calls me every day, and sometimes I am cruel and don’t answer and sometimes I am decent and call her on a whim to chat about the weather and my dog. Every time I see her, she furtively hands me a neatly folded roll of $20 bills wrapped in a tissue. I am 33 years old. She hunches over and takes my hand in her hand. We speak two different languages, are from two different worlds, but love–love is love.