It’s my first day on the assembly-line outside Detroit. The job -- bore holes in steering columns for Winnebagos. Day-in and day-out I will thread the metal blocks in front of me. I will wear my goggles. I will be on-time. A white oily lubricant splatters everywhere. It’s noisy. I don’t fit in here. But I’m home from my freshman year of college with something to prove. And I need the money.
morning drive-thru exhausted sparrows
The guys on either side of me are street-wise ex-husbands with restraining orders. At lunch, they like to swap stories about their various run-ins with the law. Their B & Es alone-- breaking and entering-- could fill a book. And they’re quick to remind me what a real education is.
Life on the street, man. They’ve got the scars. And like to show them off. I’m no one to them. They take turns calling me “College Boy.” I am someone to look through. Talk at. Teach what tough is.
“Welcome to the joy ride,” Tiny says, his gut shakes like it’s full of Jell-O.
the Tigers and Miss June
staring back at me