Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On the Corner

One an' two an' three an' twirl. That's my rhythm
this afternoon. I don't complain even though
it's god awful hot out here. Almost a hundred
an' two degrees yesterday. "All you can eat
Pizza buffet, lunch special!" Seems you'd
want a guy drivin' by to read the sign, but
they got us spinnin' and shakin' and dancin' it
around. Not that I'm complainin'. I need the job.
There's talk of closin' the plant where Mama works.

Yeah, young guys like me don't do the jobs guys
used to do. My Grampa was a printer. He learned how at
the newspaper up north in Tacoma. He tells me 'bout
how they had him luggin' around stacks of paper
hundred pounds each an' clankin' an' pullin' an'
hummin' all kinds of machines. He was thirteen when
he started. Long time ago, Mama took me to the shop, but
I don't remember. She says he always had his head stuck in a
press - inkin' it up or scrubbin' it down - punchin' buttons
and checkin' papers as they spit out the other side.
She says one press was the size of our house! Mama says
in the old days, Grampa used to smell like ink when
he came home at night - an' his sausage sized fingers
got stained black from mixin' all day. They used to
scoop blobs of ink from big tins an' plop it on
an old printin' plate an' mix it all around 'til it
was just the right color. That's how they did it way
back then. Now the colors come ready mixed, I guess.

Yeah, sure is hot out here. But I smile an' pretend
this is the best job in the world. At least I'm gettin' a
good work out. Plus I can listen to my I-Pod all day.
Kelton says he's quitting. I'll see if I can get his
shift too. Gotta work on a new routine, though. Can't
be twirlin' and flippin' all Saturday. Gotta pace myself.


JR's Thumbprints said...

Not only is this an art form, it's an art form in the hot sun. Keep spinning and twirling!

bluesugarpoet said...

No kidding! I'm amazed that these sign spinners can keep up the energetic sign "holding" for so long.

Karen said...

Great versimilitude! You really captured it, Jana.

pjd said...

The new dystopian future: When all services and shops are fully automated, and the only jobs for humans are as moving billboards.

bluesugarpoet said...

@karen & pjd - thanks! you both caught what I was trying to create. :)

Marie said...

Hello Jena,

Excellent, how you capture
the nuance of the woman and her
thoughts, her life.