by Martha Rand
“I remember I used to tell my best friend every day, ‘I’m going through so many changes, I went to this audition, and I met this guy and I’m having dinner with this director, and this and that is happening,’” Demetra was so animated, thinking back almost forty years. She was sitting in her swivel chair talking to a girl who was her younger image, her protégée, who was just the age she had been when life was different every day.
“Yeah, I don’t think I need it to be that different,” Vida responded, laughing.
“Well, there you go, I’m a fire sign and you’re an earth. That’s just the way it is.”
They laughed together at the easy explanation.
“I think I could just go with a change for every season, a change for summer and a change for fall and change for winter and a change for spring.”
“Oh, like a wardrobe change?”
“Maybe, more like a change of shoes,” Vida said. “I don’t think I could afford a whole wardrobe on a temp social worker’s salary.”
Zeb was dying. He’d been diagnosed in mid-summer when his throat swelled closed. He had an operation and never came back to work. No one knew the truth. He had sabbatical time coming. He’d been social working nearly forty years, nearly 160 seasons, same time, same agency. That’s what Zeb was, a man working for the social good, changing the world for the better, one child at a time.
That’s what they were, women working for the social good, changing the world for the better, one child at a time.
“And, you have how many shoes?” Demetra asked, turning back to her computer.
“I have almost a hundred. It’s crazy,” Vida stated, turning ‘round on her short stacked heels to pick up the sheaf of confidential papers meant for the shredder.
Demetra looked up from inputting her stats. “When Zeb’s sabbatical ends, you’ll be secure enough to think about a wardrobe and not just shoes.”
published 1 February 2012