As per an assignment from my dear sister-in-law, I wrote this bit. Her assignment (which I would advise you do) was pretty simple, or so it seemed, describe a person in 500 words... the task is not as simple as these words seem to imply!
Debra, or so the oval, beveled , metallic tag says, is more than your average worker. Surrounded by cold, scuffed tile with prints marked across of telling how many have come through on just one day and a flicker overhead that can only be a product of florescent lights, oil is in the air, not as thick as to make the skin sticky or floor slick but there is not doubt of where the Mason-Dixon line lays. A child’s birthday party gone array, Debra gingerly shifts her weight from one foot to the next, only to have her way cut off by another child jaunting barefooted in her path. Finally, making it to her destination: the trash bins, she diligently wipes and picks clean the trash flap. What makes her express tenderness and contentment when handling reprehensible behavior and stubborn rubbage? Is she just waiting for her prince charming? Maybe she has Gandhi's secret. She has taken the time between her long shifts to sit and meditate: find tranquility? Each fare across the dining room her eyes hide a smile. Soft features across an deep ebony completion. Hand-me-down khaki pants rest well above her black tennis shoes with Velcro straps matched only by the well worn black and grey uniformed polo. While working rarely would her lips part but when they do out comes soft dulcet tones, leaving no hint from where she might have come.
Strolling out of what reads “employee’s only”, she makes her way with broom in hand to brush away what remains of people that came before. She passes with a breeze of muted melody. Her hands, with rag, ready, waiting for action. She peers around as she completes a table to see where to go next. In the corner, next to the bathroom, she spots some cemented wreckage, pursing her lips, she marches as quickly as sore feet will allow to take down that odious mar. A wave of oil, Lysol and Shea butter waft behind her as she makes her way back to retrieve a new rag. In spite of cleaners, oil and hand washing, soft, smooth hands take on yet another table with her wrung towel. Smiles and nods in understanding as she passes a young mother trying to console her small child while she makes yet another loop around the dinning room. Stopped by what seems to be a customer with a question, she is led into a long conversation; showing pleasure and assuring them they are being heard all the while.
Debra is no ordinary worker. As she takes on the dust, dirt and crying children, she finds pleasure and manages to spread it to others. Despite having to clean areas meant for disposal, and wiping the carnage of previous meals she keeps on, always looking for the next thing to be done. In the face of long days on her hurt feet, she hums the day away with melodic tones of cheerful thoughts. Debra is no ordinary worker.