“You’re on the payroll…”

“I work in the kitchen at Russell Sage. I was on my way home from getting a beer, just walking by one day, and this guy said, ‘You want a job?’ And I was like, ‘No way, man… I don’t work.’ He said, ‘Put that beer down and I’ll give you a job.’ I thought he was just kidding around with me. But then I came around again one day, and he said, ‘Get in here, you’re on the payroll.’ He put my beer in a cooler, and I worked with him the whole day. That first day was great. I loved it. I’ve been there 36 years.

About 3 years ago, my girlfriend died. She had a heart attack. She died right in front of my eyes, right there on the loveseat. You never really think something like that is going to happen. It’s a part of life, though. When your time comes, you gotta go. Nothing I could do about it. Took me a while to get through it. I dream about her sometimes, late at night. Someone dies in your arms, it’s scary. I’m happy now, though. I got my love: Budweiser. She’s my second woman. Doesn’t talk back to you. Less expensive. I’ve got my bubbles. I’ve got my job. I’m a happy person. I’m just going to keep working until the man upstairs tells me to stop.”