Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Need a Job

What am I really worth in an up and down economy flying off its rails? Am I the guy who loses his job, who settles for what little comes his way? Am I the guy you see at the food court, wiping tables while wearing a polyester uniform and a cotton ball cap with a 'Have a Nice Day' button the size of a beer coaster pinned to his dark green apron?

Is that what you see me as? Is that what I'm worth?

Do I have a squirt bottle in my hand? Do I spray blue cleaning liquid on stained table tops? Do I clean and shine them, in the process stripping away the layers of dignity I earned from surviving?

Do I take it from him? Do I listen emotionless to his bigoted, racist, assumptive, anti-immigrant voice ask: "Speak English, eh?"

Do I listen to his condescending laughter, his oversize belly jiggling under his oversize Tommy Hilfiger cotton cable sweater? Or should I say: "I've been speaking English since I was born. Don't you think I speak it better than you, asshole?"

Am I right? Am I right to take my squirt bottle and spray a thick stream of liquid on his face and wipe away his smug smile like a giant mustard stain with my dirty rag hosting germs from the remains of Taco Bell fast food?

Is my vision good? Out of the corner of my eye can I see an onrush of security guards? Am I fast enough to escape their fleet feet and apprehending arms? Can I make it down the mall's corridor and turn into the super market? Do I make a last stand in the fruits section? Do I throw like a silent era comedian apples, oranges, pears, and bananas at the dodging faces of the security guards? Do I get blindsided?

Do I get dragged semi-conscious out of the mall and hurled into a snow bank encrusted in dirt and street salt? Does my winter coat get tossed over my body, ripped and torn? Did the thieving guards steal my change, my bus token, my kit leather gloves from when I afforded top stitched hand wear? Did I twist my knee, limping away, two miles from home? Am I one of the bedraggled? One of the beaten down? One of the broken spirits? But is there hope? Is there hope to marry a woman, famously rich and wonderfully desperate?

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