Earlier this evening I was walking to my car through Harvard Square, thinking how lucky I am. Truly, I could die tomorrow (knock, knock) andâ€”if nothing elseâ€”know I’ve lived an incredibly charmed life. My greatest career goal was to one day write for Sports Illustrated, and I did it. When I was young and dumb and unable to meet women, all I wanted was a nice wife who’d eat with me at outdoor cafes. Now I’m married to my ultimate dream woman. I wanted kids, and I’ve got two extraordinary ones who, come tomorrow morning, will greet me with hugs and kisses. I’ve got a cool house, supportive friends and family members, a Mazda … really I’m golden.
Which leads me to Felix.
Upon getting my car from the lot, I was dumbfounded to find the same attendant sitting in the coffin-sized booth who’d been there, oh, 7 1/2 hours earlier. “Holy shit!” I said. “Aren’t you the same guy from this morning.” He nodded. The guy’s name was Felixâ€”an Amherst College student holding down what must surely be the worst summer job in world history. Felix sits in this booth for 12 hours; he can take bathroom breaks in a building across the way until 4:30, when that place closes. He has no AC, just a small fan and an open window.