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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Microstory 438: Floor 4 (Part 1)

Babies! I love babies. That hasn’t always been true. My parents had a second child when I was pretty old, and I was expected to help raise my little brother. He grossed me out, and I never got used to it. It seemed to never end either. He’s needed raising through his adult life. He’s not a bad person, but simple tasks often vex him. He should be able to drive himself to the store and buy a new shirt. I used to resent him for this behavior, but now we’re starting to think he's autistic. I’ve been trying to convince him to go get tested, but he’s very reluctant. He’s less worried about being diagnosed, and more worried about not. He’s scared to death that there’s nothing wrong with him and that he’s just an asshole. I know he’s not, and I think deep down he knows this as well, but that’s not making life any easier. Anyway, back to babies. When I was in college, a massive hurricane hit the Gulf Coast. I remember watching it on the news and feeling a deep need to contribute to recovery from one of the worst natural disasters in history. I knocked on my friend’s dorm room door, and we just have each other this look. We both knew what we needed to do. We dropped all of our classes that semester and contacted the Red Cross. We had flown down to Louisiana by the end of the week, and started volunteering at a shelter. Things were crazy and chaotic. No one had dealt with anything like this before, but we were all there to help, so we figured it out together. This 18-year-old kid was the kitchen manager even though he didn’t know how to cook. A young woman provided spiritual guidance to residents in need. And me? I ended up taking care of the children. Parents would often have to leave the shelter to get their affairs in order, or look for new or temporary work. I didn’t ask for the responsibility, but I took it, because that’s what the universe was asking of me. I developed a newfound appreciation for the work, and when I came home, I began training. I’ve been working at various day care facilities ever since. Analion is just my most recent position. It’s looking like the company as a whole isn’t long for this world, though. I better go look for new babies.

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