A Car You Don't Drive, A House You Don't Live In, A Girlfriend You've Never Kissed

Joe said he had a black Monte Carlo Super Sport. None of us had seen it and his parents drove him to work. Joe said he had a home that he bought out of foreclosure, but the home was still being worked on 5 years later and Joe lived with his parents. Joe said he was going to marry Elise, who worked the paint aisle, and he was going to take her to Italy. Italy was his homeland and he had family there who would welcome them. But Elise had reported him to management for harassment and asked to be moved to the other end of the store.

Joe said he had been strangled by the boss at his last job, by a Mexican named Augie, and that very soon he was to receive a large settlement. Despite the litigation he was calling daily to get his old job back in the meat department. Any day now he would have it. Augie and he could work things out. “But what we need ‘round this place is a union,” Joe said. “So that management will give us some respect.” Respect was worth paying a union, he argued. And Hoffa was a great man.

Joe was short and round and his bald head was smooth and polished. Joe’s hands were soft and very white and stayed that way because he did not like to work. Through the night you heard Joe cackling in the paint aisle and doing broken English impersonations of the Mexican Augie. Steve liked to get on Joe in the break room. Joe would be telling Victor about how this or that was going to happen for him and Steve, not even looking up while reading the paper, would grunt, “No, it’s not. No. Joe. It’s not.” Joe had these sties growing on his eyelids and they seemed to get larger and redder every day. He had them for months. Joe was always talking about what the doctor was proscribing and Steve says, “Hey Joe, maybe if you washed your hands after you go to the bathroom you wouldn’t have that shit growing on your eyes.”

They finally fired him for getting into it with Phil from the flooring department. Joe tried to get his job back, calling the store manager every few days. This went on for a few months until Joe realized it wasn’t going to happen. He called the police and tried to have assault charges brought on Phil for flicking a paperclip at him. Joe also filed a lawsuit against Phil for assault with a paperclip. That put Phil out of work too, which was too bad. Phil was a good guy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © Moraline Free