Conversation with a Fellow Customer

“Security. Does wonders for the mind.”

He set down his bottle, which he paid with a twenty.

“Really?” I asked. “How so?”

“Well, for starters, there’s the discipline.”


“Yeah. Ain’t no job try your patience. I be doing this seven years.”

“What do you do on the job?”

“Stand round, lookin’ wise. Not much trouble. See, they hires us ’cause they thinks they got something. But they don’t. Nothing important. Nothing I see. Nothing no one, no man steal. Know what I’m sayin’?”


“Just ’bout any one get this kinda work. Show up. Stick around, few weeks they make you supervisor. All in the attitude.”

He collected his change.

“And this is good for the mind?”

“Oh yeah. Real good. Keepin’ it real. Keeps you tight.”

“Doesn’t it get boring?”

“Sometimes. Yeah. But it’s good for the mind, wonders, see. I see most folks cut out quick. Real quick. They the ones got small minds. The real ones hang in. Damn easy. If the mind keeps going, shit, you get supervisor pay. Twelve dollars an hour.”

“So your mind’s in this for the money.”

“Hell yeah. Who ain’t? Gets me cab fare sometimes. Some folks don’t know pay when they hang in there.”