Monday, July 28, 2008

Braving the rapids

The one at whose side I worked that summer was deep-set in family heartaches, and facially inhumane, but she sometimes came out from behind all that etiquette.

Eleven was the only clock word she liked. She would insist it sounded lilting and relenting to her.

For me, though, the hour itself—the work-shift one, I mean, and not its trimmer twin in late evening—did not slope toward anything better. I never budged for lunch, and I liked to do myself in a little. I would postpone a piss until I had to brave rapids, practically. (There was a vessel I kept beneath my desk.)

This was the property-management division. We were sectored off from the rest of headquarters by little more than particleboard. The job required the luxurious useless indoor fortitude it has always been my fortune to enjoy.

—Gary Lutz, "Years of Age"

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