Sunday, January 22, 2012

As Close To Hell As You Can Get Without Being Dead

Illustration of Dante's Inferno, Canto 8Image via Wikipedia
I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
---Mark Twain


I went down to the gas tank cleaning place to apply for a job today. The Creepmobile --my roommate’s car-- barely made it. It chugged and huffed and hesitated at every turn as if it knew what I knew about this job and didn't really want to go, either.

I was talking about this job in the Arco this morning when a customer overheard and said he knew that job. He used to do it. He said that job is as close as you can get to hell without dying.


I went down and applied anyway. I peeked into the back room while me and two illegal aliens were filling out the application forms. It looked like something out of "Metropolis" back there. Steamy and furnacey.

The sound of hammers hitting metal anvils made the place SOUND like Dante's Inferno.

I completed the form and turned it in anyway. I've got the Creepster on my back. He's making 'move out' noises at me. I gotta kick in my half of the rent on the crack motel room we're sharing. He's got a steady unemployment check coming in and the silly sophomaniac thinks that makes him superior to my sporadic day labors.

The Mexicans caught a whiff of the burning metal and blood smells coming from the back room and vamoosed.


An older guy in a suit and tie walked in for his job interview and we chatted a few minutes. The old guy was one of the thousands of aircraft industry workers laid off in this neighborhood recently. He looked worried. Hell, he looked like a guy going in for prostate surgery during an anesthetic shortage. Twenty six years he gave those bastards and they threw him out like moldy yogurt.


He didn't tell me that. I read it off his face. He was trying to get some moral support from me, but I had little to give. I had seen the back room before an alert receptionist closed the door. They had looked like Star Trek Borgs back there.

The ex-aircraft worker looked to me for comfort, but I'm scared shitless myself. With any luck, they'll be drilling machine parts into my skull in a week.



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