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January 21, 2018 / thackersam

The Morning After – Women’s March 2018

I don’t know what Alberto is like at home. Whether he’s sexist, or even abusive. But he’s good to me, and I sincerely doubt he could be that deceptive. After all my years on earth, and after the four or so that Alberto has served me my Sunday brunch, I sense that he is basically a good man.

He was passing when I walked in the door of Tribeca’s Kitchen this morning, the day after my multi-generational team culminated our behind-the-scenes work on the Women’s March on NYC 2018 with an 8-hour shift at the March itself. I had consumed little during those hours, and not much more after I got home in the evening. So when Alberto stopped to say a pleasant “hello dahling,” I replied “COFFEE.”

I apologized for my rudeness as he placed the hot cup in front of me. He laughed that “no need” kind of laugh. He knows it’s not in my nature to bark orders to people, especially him, but I think I may have startled him. He chuckled, or at least smiled each time he put some item from my “usual” on the table, as I gave him an exaggerated “thank you.” I no longer have to make it a point to show anyone in a service industry appreciation. It was a natural instinct that became a natural habit. But this morning, though I was exhausted and achy, I still needed to make up for my bark.

That first cup of coffee was gone in no time.

One of the cashiers, who looks oh so very young, came over to my table to ask how the March went. I was so pleased. Surprised even. I assumed, as I was trying to spread the word about the 2nd Annual Women’s March, which for me is more easily done in writing, that the female cashiers at the diner may have just been nodding, or expressing interest to be polite and to humor the nice “older” writer-woman who comes in every weekend with her laptop and notebook and must sit in Alberto’s section . But she was listening, this young, diminutive cashier. She had been thinking about it, and was sorry she couldn’t make it yesterday. She asked when the next one would be, and while I told her she’d have to wait until next year, I informed her that there will be other rallies and marches for other important causes before then, and I’d let her know. “I appreciate it,” she said, to which I replied that I appreciated her interest.

I pushed no further. She was on the road, which I had helped her find, and sensed she was like many of us who want to participate, and to be counted. For me, once bitten, I wanted and needed to do more, to be more proactively involved in creating change and forward movement. I thought she might be one to take that road, but would have to go at her own pace. I felt that I had done as much for the movement then, as I had done the day before, and left the diner feeling satisfied in many ways.

When I got home, I looked out at the river glistening in the sun, and squinted at Lady Liberty in the distance and her shadow that faced me. My heart panged in awe, though I see her everyday, and as small as she is from my viewpoint, so small I could crush her between my thumb and forefinger if I chose, I am reassured that she is bigger than he is. Much bigger and stronger, and much more powerful. From my window, and a bit blinded by the sun, I see the raised arm. It could be holding something. It could be raised with a fist at the end. But today I saw a wave. And even after all the coffee and actual food (thank goodness for Ritz Crackers), I was still somewhat whoozy from exhaustion, and excitement, and realized I was waving back.

Thanks to Nips for finding us as at the end of the March (the end for her, as she walked it from end to start, and the end for the team with the last of the marchers finally crossing the starting point from further uptown, meaning we could now head home), and for taking the picture – Me, Rebecca & Caroll. Yay us!

Btw – Did you know that Nips spelled backward is Spin. Just sayin’.

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