My job wasn’t essential until the state of California deemed it so.
My feet are swollen, my back aches. This mask I wear has become a part of me. It digs into your ears, your face drips with sweat from morning until evening. I’m afraid I would experience anxiety if I was to ever misplace it.
Gloves, these were once a nuisance but now they are my shield.
My sword, a common smile, you will never see. A smile I am fighting to put on my face, behind my mask, behind my title as an essential worker. I use this smile to fight through everyday. I use it to advance through the ranks, to reach flailing at any sense of normalcy I can find.
Because everyday I wake up and I wait to feel what I have become. Am I essential to you? Or am I just another pair of tired eyes passing you by as you wait impatiently in our long lines?
I put the mask on, the gloves, and walk into the crowd, "Six feet, everyone. I need everyone to back up and spread it out."
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