Lowell is like a cat. Most people enjoy cats, much like most Citizens of Lowell enjoy Lowell, Ma. But, also like a cat, you wouldn’t be all that surprised if you found out that Lowell was attempting to kill you. Lowell, Ma is a horrible place. Most people seem to be campaigning for the title of Worst Person Alive. I want to tell you a story of a Late-night Shift and one and a half feet of snow.
Not a short-time ago, I worked at a 24-hour corner store. Through a series of monkey-shines, I found myself working the overnight relief shift, usually spanning from 10:00pm -4:00am.
On the day this story takes place, two feet and a half of snow fell, caking our family home in white, fluffy snow. This would’ve been easier to shovel away, but the temperature rose, turning the falling snow into rain, soaking those two feet of fluffy snow. There was a ‘Stay-At-Home’ Advisory for our area, which should have meant that the roads should’ve been clear. Unfortunately, Lowell don’t listen to not ‘Stay-At-Home’ Advisory.
I had made a perfunctory attempt at shovel at path to the street and I thought that should’ve been good enough. My mother, my dearest mother decided that she wasn’t going to listen to this advisory. She had old people to take care of (and possibly, beat with a wooden spoon.) My sister went out with a shovel in her hand and began to dig my mother out. This is a common occurrence in Massachusetts: Digging out someone who should just stay home. My sister had hardly made a dint in the snow and came back in, seeking reinforcements. My two brothers were away, somewhere. They were doing something. Possibly, they had known that this was going to happen.
We have three cars and we attempted to dig out the easiest of the three cars. My sister’s car sat on the street and therefore, there would be less work for the both of us. I’d be able to go back to sleep and be rested for my 10 to 4 shift at the corner store. We finally dug out the car. We were cold, wet and exhausted and I began to trudge back to the house, while my sister started on my mother’s vehicle. I felt that we had a car available, which we shouldn’t have done, seeing as there was a ‘Stay-At-Home’ Advisory.
I slumped down to my bed and enjoyed a glorious half-hour’s sleep before I was called back down, hearing demands that I should aid my sister. I had aided my sister. We had dug out a car for my mom. Why would I dig out another?
Evidentially, there was the hypothetical fear that we might need a car once our mother was gone. I argued that if something was to happen in our home, we could call an ambulance. We could call the police. We did not need another goddamn car.
I lost that argument, though I maintain that my argument was remarkably sounds. I found myself shoveling out a second car. I was now, colder, wetter, and more exhausted. My mom had her car and my sister had hers. Again, I headed back inside and my sister continued on to the third car. Why? The fuck if I know. I didn’t sleep at all this second time before I was called down to aid my sister, again. This time, it was my father, seemingly jealous that everyone else had their cars dug out. I contested that the snow was heavy, that we were exhausted and that he didn’t have to be anywhere for a full 38 hours. This was on a Saturday and he didn’t have to work until Monday. Again, my argument was sound, remarkably so but I found myself outside, shoveling out a third car. This is what you get if you live in Lowell. You get soaked in cold, filthy water. You get to feel like you’ve been stabbed in the back, emotionally and physically. You get to work in futility for on good goddamn reason.