Shitty Nights

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 12, 2016

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Submitted: August 12, 2016

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“This is going to be a long night” said Greg.

Greg was a smart guy; had a Master’s degree.  The only dumb thing he ever did was getting that degree.  Greg was a hard worker too.  We both worked night shifts.  7pm until 7am, 7 days a week: no nights off unless notified.  Lucky number 7.

It was complete bullshit.

And it was like every other bullshit job; simple, pointless, and stressful.  We worked construction, our title: “Junior Inspector”.  Juniors did everything Seniors were supposed to, but for far less.

Were Supposed to…’ 

Seniors never did much if there was a Junior.  They just passed off the work to us like the 70 year old fucks they were.  We complained about it, but not often.  We knew once we were Seniors we’d do the same to some poor son of a bitch.  When you’re at the bottom you take shit, when you’re at the top you dropped your own pent up turds.  The circle of life; fueled by shit.  Shit, shit, shit, and more shit! No Seniors tonight though, just Greg and I; a couple of earthworms.

Greg was in the passenger seat.  Tonight it was my turn to drive.  A lot of driving involved with the job.  Up and down the highway, back and forth through the median, over and under bridges, wasting gas like it was unlimited.  And to us it was; they paid us $20 a day in expenses.  Not much, but we took turns driving each shift in order to pocket as much of the cash as we could.  Tomorrow Greg would drive, and I; I would buy a dime sac.

We arrived on site at 9 pm.  The contractors already began closing lanes off on the highway, without notifying us of course.  I drove up to pick-up truck number P179; Pierre’s truck.  He was the foreman in charge of the paving operation.  I rolled down the window and shouted: “What the fuck are you doing?”

Pierre rolled down his window, “Hey Los.  Greg.  Need a coffee? I have a few extra.”  He pointed at a tray of 5 small coffees.

“What I need is for you to call us to let us know what the fuck you guys are doing.  Pretty sure these lanes aren’t supposed to be closed until 11pm.”

“The earlier we start the faster we go home.”

“The more rules you break, the more paper work I have to do, the more I have to be on your ass.”

He lit the cig that hung from his mouth like drool, and then grilled me with bloodshot eyes.

“So do you want a coffee or nah?”

“Nah we got ours, but thanks.  I’m gonna go do some measurements.  Might need to take some samples tonight.”

Pierre grinned and shifted gears.

“Better work fast, asphalt’s already here.”

He drove off and I looked to the side of the highway.  Sure enough, the load was here and paving had already begun.  Motherfucker.

“I’ll do the measurements” said Greg, “I brought the tape wheel from the office to get it done fast. Go drive down and take inventory.”

“Sounds good”

He got out, and I drove off. 

I parked on the side of Vanier Rd. so as to keep myself away from the traffic of shovels and asphalt trucks.  Last thing I needed tonight was to be laced by an operator asleep at the wheel.  I got out and explored the site.  I wrote down the equipment numbers, number of workers, and then collected the material tickets.  They had already placed more than a few megatons.  I didn’t need the tickets to know that.  The smell of hot asphalt hit me like a slap in the face from a woman in love.

As soon as I finished doing the simple and pointless part of the job, it was time for the stressful part.  I found my way into conversation. 

The contractors had thick Portuguese accents.  They laughed good healthy laughs.  Most of the time at my expense.  I didn’t care.  Not because I was too tough to care.  I didn’t care because I understood.  I was 19 at the time, they were pushing 40, and there were times I’d have to tell them what to do.  I’d be pissed too.

“Hey, it’s Mr. Inspector!” said one of them, saluting me like an army general.  They turned towards me and laughed those Portuguese laughs.

“Fuck off”

They turned towards the brave (or foolish?) bastard who got into the ring with me and laughed harder.  The laugh had more juice, had more Portuguese, and he was red; I had won an early knock out win.Poor guy never stood a chance.  There’s certain hilarity in trolling a man twice as young as you and failing.  Like watching LeBron getting stuffed by an 8 year old. 

They continued the conversation.

“So anyways I’m coming out of the gas station and I see this blonde bitch. Big titties.  She sees me…”

“How big?”

“Big like there’s no room for them…”

We laughed.

“Anyways, she sees me.  Asks me if I can take her to the bus station.  I say ‘I’m working right now so I can’t’…”

“You pussy!”

“Hold on fuck!  I say ‘I’m working right now’ but her and her titties say ‘I’m desperate’.”

We laughed.

“So I say ‘It’ll cost you’.  Her and her titties say ‘Alright’.  Next thing I know I’m fucking her in the back of my truck.  Of course after I finished I dropped her off at the station and that’s why I was late coming back from break yesterday…”

“What a gentleman…”

They laughed. 

“Anyone down for some Gato?” I asked.

I pulled out a pile of Gatorades from my cooler and let them swarm while I wandered back to my car.  You have to feed the pack from time to time so they don’t turn on you.  Especially on long nights that reek of hot asphalt. 

Although it was mid-July, by 2 am it was as cool as October.  Sitting in my car, calculating the amount of asphalt samples needed, I dozed off. 

I dreamt of being Portuguese.  Of being in a country you weren’t born in and trying to survive.  In my dream I still worked from 7pm-7am, 7 days a week, but in this dream I didn’t care what the young-man in the white helmet, goofy glasses and bad attitude had to say.  In my dream I had already found my place in the world.  It was a rotten place, and it still stunk of hot asphalt and tired men, but at least the hope of ‘somewhere else’, ‘some other life’, was gone.  I dreamt of being in a gas station in the early morning.  I dreamt of fucking a desperate girl trying to get home.  In my dreams I forgot I had sisters. 

I slept like a baby; the night had rocked me to sleep.

 

 

 

 

 


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