I usually got to the flower shop around eight a.m.
The packages were ready for me. I'd load the van.
I'd sip on my third cup of coffee and figure out my route.
A good delivery man always takes time to do this.
Economy of movement is the key to success.
After loading the van, I was sweating profusely.
Last night's whiskey was pouring out of me.
My head would be pounding.
Lighting and inhaling a smoke, only made it worse.
My stomach was usually sour.
I'd swing by the donut shop for a couple of glazed.
I'd drink a carton of milk, along with three aspirin.
This usually made me feel more human.
As I traveled the city streets, I saw the church goers.
Men wore suits, women wore pretty hats and gloves.
Their children were always well-scrubbed, in in their Sunday best.
I thought of my innocence as a child.
What had changed me so much?
I guess the passing of years, changed me into a bitter man.
I delivered the big floral pieces to funeral homes.
I carefully placed casket sprays, end baskets,
and little notes in green envelopes, around the deceased.
"What a charade", I thought.
The flowers were for the living, not the dead.
Some were sent honestly, to ease the pain of the family.
Others were sent in vanity, for ulterior motives.
I thought they all wasted their money.
I'd usually finish my "run" by two p.m.
I'd go to Joe's Lucky Stop bar on 63rd Street, to watch the last half of the Bears game. After two or three Scotches, I felt better again.
I'd smile and say goodbye to the bartender and other drunks on the stools.
I'd get in my truck and head home for Sunday dinner.
I gave my wife the cash I made, and hugged my little girl.
I'd start watching the second half of the late afternoon game.
I never saw the end, because I fell asleep in my chair.
This was my only day off. I was glad to get the extra sleep.
I'd usually manage to stay awake till nine-or-ten in the evening.
Then I headed upstairs for bed.
I'd set my clock for five a.m.
I never liked starting out on Monday with a hangover.
Most of the time, I started the week on my bulldozer feeling pretty good.
By the end of my week of moving dirt, I was beat up.
I lived like this for thirty-five years.
A man can do almost anything, if he sets his mind to it.