Just An Ordinary Day

There wasn’t too much remarkable about that day, at least when it started. I woke up to a typical light overcast outside my window. I did my usual morning routine. I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into my ordinary “day off” attire…boots, jeans, a t-shirt and a jacket. I threw my worn bag into the passenger seat of my unassuming car, sang along to the radio in my usual off-key pitch, and parked in the supermarket parking lot. It was, by all means, an ordinary day.

I grabbed a shopping basket, and meandered through the aisles. The other patrons milled around in their usual way. An older lady with a blue scarf was sorting through the produce, trying to pick the best tomatoes of the bunch. A boy in a Spiderman t-shirt was fruitlessly pleading for his father to buy him the big bag of Reese’s. Some woman with glasses was spelling out her coworker’s name for a baker to write on a cake. I was making that time old decision: chicken or beef. There was really nothing to take notice of. Which is why I’ll never be quite sure what caught my eye and redirect my focus.

It was just a man, chatting with a friend he happened to bump into. I returned to deciding what I was going to do for dinner, when my memory started to stir. I glanced back at the man out of the corner of my eye. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t immediately place it…no…it couldn’t be…I tried really hard not to stare in disbelief.

I remember everything about the last time we’d met. I remember the weather, the time, the place, and everyone that was there. I remember the furniture, the pictures around the room, and the clock on the wall. I remember someone dancing from foot to foot, deciding whether they wanted to watch or not. I remember someone trying not to cry. I remember trying to speak lowly so I wouldn’t cause even more emotional trauma to everyone there. Funny thing is, I doubt he remembers our encounter, even though I treated him kind of roughly.  See, the last time we met, he was dead. My partners and I were pounding on his still, pale chest. We were squeezing each breath into his lungs. All in the hopes of converting that rhythm into something more life-sustaining.

His skin glowed now with a radiant life. His cheeks were much rosier than in my memory. He had a quick mind behind his sharp eyes, as evidenced by the laughter of his friend. A deep chuckle came forth from the man’s wry smile.

The feeling that built in my chest was one that defies words. The man that stood only a few yards away from me was so alive. He was doing normal, every day things. To anybody else, this scene was average. Just an average man, wearing plain clothes, running ordinary errands, talking about typical things with his friend. And yet, there was something so extraordinary about it. Just the whole notion of being alive is such an incredible thing all of the sudden. Every blink, every breath, every heart beat was such an amazing thing. Every movement, every chore, every interaction, every joke…it all suddenly carried so much more weight. He was a man who’d beaten the odds. And, in my small way, I had helped him do it. And that just felt…incredible.

I wanted to savor that moment, that feeling, forever. Where the gravity of the things I do for a living really sets in, but in the most surreal way. Where suddenly everything was brilliant, and nothing was taken for granted. I walked past him, offering him a big, genuine smile. He smiled back at me, a little confused as to why I’d be grinning like that. He would probably  never know, and oddly, that is fine with me.

I continued on down the aisle, back to my every day life. He carried on with his. And that makes all the difference.


  1. This is very rad 🙂

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