Yes, there's the whole schoolkid issue -- you know, that thing you had to do in school when everyone made a little mailbox for Valentines on their desk and you were always afraid that your mailbox would be empty?
But for me, now, Valentine's Day has become the day we pulled the plug on my Grandmother. No, she didn't die on Valentine's Day -- she died tomorrow, the 15th -- but I know that my entire family was just cynical enough to not care that we would be forever tainting what was already a fucked up holiday to begin with.
So I'll tell the story:
The best part of Valentine's Day last year was going to The Co-op. My aunts had come to town because my Grandmother was in the hospital. On Friday the 13th, of all days, they'd decided that it was time to take my Grandmother off of the ventilator, that there was no chance of a meaningful recovery, and that living on the ventilator was tantamount to torture. My aunts needed some supplies (they were staying in my Grandmother's apartment, which had been vacant for more than a week or two, since my Grandmother had been in the hospital), so I was sent off to do grocery shopping.
I got to The Co-op, displeased, distracted, and just generally feeling the weight of what was going on. Anyhow, I'd hoped I'd run into a friend or two, and I was lucky enough to see Ramon, who was working there at the time. He asked how I was, and I told him the whole awful story. He held me, and wished me well. And it was the best thing that happened to me on that whole godawful day.
Yes, I like my job, but today, more than usual, I will remember what it can sometimes mean to be at The Co-op.