Amazon Man

I was walking home on a Sunday morning after a stroll through the neighborhood. Rain threatened. My mind was writing up the encounters with the homeless I’d just experienced. Every time I take a walk or bike ride, I have such encounters. I never go out looking for them. They simply occur because the crisis is everywhere I look.

A young Black man dressed in an Amazon delivery uniform came walking toward me on the sidewalk. He was carrying a load of parcels on his shoulder. Odd? Amazon delivers early Sunday mornings?

As we got closer, I slowed down and we made eye contact. He looked exhausted and a bit dazed.

“Amazon delivers on Sundays?” I said.

“Yeah, this is my sixth day in a row,” he said. “I just started. I got one training and they sent me out.”

“You know, I really appreciate how hard you are working during a Pandemic. You are important.”

His face instantly changed to attention. He even cracked a little smile.

“You don’t know how much that means to me right now,” he said.

“There was so much talk from the politicians how important you front line workers are, then they won’t raise the fucking minimum wage and help front line workers.”

I surprised myself how excitable I just had become. I was ready to talk union with him!

“Yeah. I agree. They don’t really care.”

“You keep on working hard and I appreciate it.”

“I appreciate you telling me.”

We said our goodbyes and he went back to work.