The Window Washer



April 13, 2004

 I was sitting getting my nails done because I had an audition later that afternoon when he walked into the salon, an unassuming gentleman and in whose eyes you could see humility and humbleness.  He was of small stature not more than 5′ 4″ tall, blond, and  his face reflected back many long hard years. He along with his partner of Latino decent were there to wash the mirrors.

 I was simply fascinated by the work he was doing. It was as if he was dancing, the mirror being his partner.  In his right hand he held a squeegee, the tool of his trade and in his left some old newspaper.

  And thus the dance began, with the squeegee in his right hand he made s’s, slowly, softly and as graceful as a figure skater upon the ice making figure eight’s. 

And with the left hand he caught the water drippings from the squeegee.  Not a smudge was to be seen on that silvery lake. He seemed  oblivious to those around him. 

 I turned to watch his partner who was not quite as comfortable or had yet perfected the task at hand.

They worked swiftly and efficiently.  They could not have been there more than 10 minutes when their work was done.  It is strange how in the small quick moments of life we are often profoundly affected.

He approached the manager who was doing my nails at the time which allowed me to look deeply into his eyes.  What I saw was a soul who had worked too hard for far too long for too little pay.

 “Eight dollars” he said,  I was stunned.  Eight dollars for the completed task.  The manager handed him a ten-dollar bill.  When he went to give her change she told him to keep it.  Ten dollars split into two gave each man five dollars apiece. 

He negotiated the next appointment, “three weeks”, he said.  “No, four weeks”,  the manager said.  “We will come back in three to four weeks”, he said.

And out the door they sauntered off.  Buckets swinging side to side.  Their image slowing getting smaller as they walked to their next destination.

 And I was in awe of how blessed I am.  That the least I ever make is $70.00 dollars an hour for being a clown (my day job), and doing something fun that I enjoy.

 Their humble image seared into my brain to serve as a reminder lest I should dare to complain.

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