Haiti


I'm walking to the Jewel Osco, the grocery store right around the corner from my place. The weather's mild. The snow is melting. I'm jumping over a few puddles that collected by the curbs. I'm on this healthy kick for the new year. At least until I'm noticeably thinner and I miss Julius Meinl's almond croissants too much.

There's a sale on Eat Smart Vegetable Stir-Fry microwaveable bags. 99-cents, limit 3. So I've been spending $3 ever time I visit to stock up. $2.59 regular price. I pick up Gi-Joe from the RedBox DVD vending machine. I've heard it sucks but I'll risk wasting a buck.

I'm woking - if that's a word - frying veggies in the wok, youknowwhatI'msayin'? A little olive oil, some cooking spray, so it doesn't stick, a couple bags of stir-fry, a little stir-fry soy sauce, and "Voila!" - healthy goodness.

At the TV, I'm pressing the ALL PWR button and either the TV is turning on or the cable box is turning off. I'm pressing CBL. An ABC Special World News is on. Diane Sawyer - "man I like her" - is walking on the streets of Haiti with rubble all around. My daughter is bumping my foot with the hard plastic of her walker. "Ouch, Zo-Zo-Ma-Go-Go..."



Diane is asking some family about something. She's speaking the language. I'm impressed - "Damn, she seems like such a sweet person." The people look desperate. "What these vegetables need is hot sauce? Go get daddy some hot sauce sweety...No?"

I'm at the TV shaking out hot sauce and Diane is interviewing this man who lost his oldest daughter. His youngest daughter is lying down on the ground with a bloody leg and a T-shirt around her head soaked with blood. He's saying, "Man, I need help. Please help me with my daughter, man. I need medicine or something for my baby. Just help me, man." His voice is helpless.

I'm staring at the ceiling, letting the tears soak back into the tear ducts. One gets loose and I dab it out with my shoulder. I tell myself, "I couldn't imagine." Now another one gets free, so I shut off my mind till my eyes dry out. I'm wondering, "Will texting Wyclef make me feel better?"

I'm looking around the room. I'm thinking of all that I am and all that I plan to be. I'm picking my youngest daughter out of her walker. She's grabbing for my glasses. I'm staring at her - staring - as she chews on my frames.

Later, I'm watching Gi Joe. It's not a bad movie. You can't expect too much from these blockbusters, they're really only meant to be fun.

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