After a short career mowing lawns and throwing newspapers I finally landed a real job.

Mott’s 5 & Dime, downtown Grand Prairie, Texas…the Heart of the Metroplex

Mott’s offered a little of everything, from sewing thread to Tropical fish.

Stock-boy was my job title and proud to be working.

$1.36 cents per hour.

Remember, this was 1970 and back then that figure would buy you 3 gallons of gasoline and get change back.

It didn’t take long for the newness to wear off…my primary function was to care for all of the pet department.

A variety of birds, from Canaries to Parrots…Rodents, from Mice to Gerbils…Tropical fish from Angels to Zebras.

And Henry…a Spider Monkey, was the largest of the bunch and, as close as I came to really getting to know him, always had a disposition of someone living their life in a cage.

Mutual respect…we shared dispositions and second guessed our career choices.

We’ve bottomed out.

Working one Saturday, I took my lunch break across the street at Don Juan’s Romantic Mexican Food.

There is a bit of humor in the name, but you must know that in 2016, this drive through celebrated fifty years in business and has a special place in many hearts around these parts.

Glancing up from my premium seat at the window counter, I see one of my classmates entering the restaurant with a classmate from grade school that had moved away sometime before entering junior high school.

They had been to Mott’s to pay me a visit and directed to Don Juan’s Romantic Mexican Food Restaurant, where I sat quietly pondering my place in the universe.

Connie and Deborah took a seat and tried their best to coax me into conversation.

As a grade schooler, Connie, Deborah and I had been close…and there I sat, bottomed out with two of the sweetest, kindest girls I had ever known…between me and the door.

Life’s circumstances, teenage complexion and grooming equates self implosion, retreat…shell intact.

For years I have relived this moment as a skeleton in my closet.

I wish I could tell you how many times I have replayed this scenario over and over in my mind, seeking a better outcome. And, given the same circumstances, the outcome is the same.

I contacted Connie a week or so ago to apologized for my “Less than receptive disposition” on that day.

She didn’t recall the incident and, of course, that’s all fine.

I have remembered it enough for the both of us.

Why couldn’t I have, at the very least, offered to buy them both a good old Don Juan’s fountain Coca Cola and a Guacamole Chalupa.

There’s still time

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