I am in the business of erasure. Folding, smoothing, and sizing to make the store look as perfect as possible, like the Dollhouse of someone who’s long since given up playing with toys. It’s my job to make everything pristine and untouched, to disillusion you into thinking nothing has been handled or tried on by another human being. It’s my job to erase your presence from the store, to make it seem like you never came.
For the most part, I do it happily. Restocking and arranging makes me feel like I am contributing. I like to smooth everything over, make it appear neat and new, stately and orderly. But as I rearrange the hangers so they are equally spaced, I look over to a customer who is still shopping. Her hands roam over the shirts she is looking at, and a sudden shiver runs through me somewhere beyond my physical form. Is it her work that I’m fixing? We all leave an impact on the world. I look back down at the rack and straighten a shirt. I am in the business of erasure.
But I don’t like to be erased.