Wednesday, January 30, 2019

it rained

I remember those crazy shads, man. Nemesis brand. I wore them all summer, 16 hours a day in 100 degree heat, and it only rained once. Every body had a pair on. Don't know if them pipeliners or the Latinos started it. Secret agent wrap around style, they kept the dust out and wouldn't fall off. The illegals out numbered us white boys 10 to 1, but we spoke English, took and gave orders.

Not me. I was the nigger of the whole outfit, the fuckin' new guy and, potential, whipping boy. I stuck with the Mexicans and Hondurans mostly, steel or poly pipe, depending what work was. Nicer people than those drunked up cowboys, they were more tolerant of my lack of skill. Naturally, you do get teased, at best, along with the job description. Nice to know what they're saying about you, too, so you pick up the language little by little.

Not like my trade. That was life or death, and I'm Jack Black, mother fucker. I'd worked with hundreds there besides, on thousands of spaces in a Metropolitan numbering in the millions. But, don't rescue the schedule, however far behind, you might have to take your tools and go home. Until, finally, we all did.

Here, your comeuppance was a meal of tamales and sauces wrapped in fresh corn stalk and made by someone's loving spouse just before dawn, tempered sweetly with crisp green chilies emitting fire ... la familia producion l'amour. Auqi, no es tardes, amigo, de nada, primo, de nada.

Nope, this was more a humbling experience. You see, there is just nowhere to hide on that endless plain. You might have to stand on a rock to get a cell signal. Ain't no trees ... but glory to God, there is wheat - waving amber and sunlit on end - you can observe the wind's movement as it criss-crosses the prairie from miles away.

Pray, you might escape that splendor, for at night it becomes an Ocean, phosphorescence visible in the seed. You could chart a course by the moon, or, the stars where they meet the horizon, always ahead, your headlights egging you on, your destiny, perhaps, to just let go the wheel.

Somewhere in deepest, darkest Honduras there is a video, taken on a phone in a place the length of five countries laid end to end from that little dictatorship and a cultural nightmare away. It's protagonist is a laconic, gangling man, tan as bark but for the raccoon lightness around his eyes, reeling like some mad shape shifting kami chasing the lads around and over the riven earth, snorting and stomping, pretending to be a loose Bull ...

They made me do it. So little children would laugh. All little children share that laughter. Yes?

Came the day I hit that deer, fiddling with my wipers in the convoy and a split second lost. I could have missed him, an immature buck, I'm quick because I have to be, I was so close ... the Hondurans boys finished the poor fella off with a penknife, his blood soaked up by the dust along side that perfectly straight road.

And later, leaning against the red wind carrying the earth's contents to the sky, they feasted on its haunches lit by the waning glint of sunlight, just before midnight, on the only day it rained all summer.

red sky at night -
the curlews choose flight
over Black Tail Dam

hard red wheat

1 comment:

Adelaide said...

Powerful writing.