The Washing Machine & Dryer

While riding a bike through the city yesterday, I came to a stop light in front of a school.  While I was waiting for the light to turn green, two men - presumably homeless  - pushed shopping carts. One held a washer, and the other a matching dryer. Once the man had passed just in front of me with the washer, his friend lost control of the dryer and it toppled off his cart. There was a loud crash as it landed in the street. By this time, there were about 30 students watching from across the street, waiting to cross and go to school. 

Internally I had to decide if I was going to help. The whole thing reminded me of the opening of Requiem For a Dream, and I didn’t want anything to do with the story. As a former teacher, I also thought this little impromptu real-life street theater was a wonderful display for the students to learn a little about life. So I just stood there.

Mr. Washing Machine struggled to lodge his cart against the curb, then ran back to his friend.  “What happened?!” He asked. “I tried to run to beat the light,” his friend responded.  Mr. Washing Machine shook his head and said,  “Who do you think you are - Superman?!”

For a moment, this caught my imagination. Superman, with all his ability, rushing to push a drying machine - in a shopping cart - across a cross-walk, trying to beat the light.  It also struck me that this was a real image of Superman in this guy’s life. 

Using teamwork, they reloaded the shopping cart and hurried off down the sidewalk, to God-only-knows-where.  Then we all went on with our lives.