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The Final Trump

Nanowrmo is almost at a close… here’s another chapter from me!

 

To think that people would come out in the heat just to leer at us from across the river is just plain strange.  Some people put a lot of effort into trying to change other people’s minds and views on them.  None of the guys working around me even blinked at the sign holders.  I waved.  I got waves back from one group, and a middle finger from the other.  I sighed and went back to work.

I kept taking glances up at the groups as I worked. They kept their space, waving their signs in the heat of the day.  I think at one point some police came by to make sure the groups would stay separate from each other and keep the antagonization to a minimum.

The wall on that side of the Rio was still just a plain chain link.  I thought how it would be easier to climb over the wall without having to trek through the river first, and that if we happened to build on that side, it would be a lot more difficult for anyone trying to cross that way.  I still stand by my thought that the wall had to be on the land here to be considered Mexico’s.

I began to soak through my shirt with sweat in the heat of the sun.  On the other side, I saw people had ice chests, with probably some nice bottles of water or sports drinks.  We got to pass around a communal kettle we could drink from, complete with lukewarm backwash.  A catering truck even pulled up to bring them who knows what.  I never imagined you could get free stuff just by pretending to be proactive.

Continue reading “The Final Trump”

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Ranch Bomb

Today was my Monday at work, and it allowed me to think about more things that are greasy in my department.  Of course, not before I stepped on a ranch packet someone had dropped on the ground, and with a satisfying pop, it sent a spray up my opposite leg, across the floor, and partially up one of the cabinets.  People saw.

this-ranch-dressing-snack-photo-u1
Screenshot from SNL

I thought, okay, I’ll after this next customer, I’ll go and at least clean this stuff off my pants before it dries into some nasty stain.  Of course, the lunch rush was creeping up on me.

So the next customer is almost done and another shows up.  Okay, after this next customer I’ll go and clean myself up.

Up walks another customer.  Okay, after this next customer I’ll go clean myself up.

Almost half an hour later, I finally am able to go to the back and wipe myself down now that my black pants are adequately seasoned.  At least Dickies are pretty much indestructable.

You know what else in a deli gets greasy fast?  Pretty much any handle we have to touch regularly.  The peels we use to put sandwiches in the toaster.  The handle for the door on the toaster.  The door handle to the fridge and freezers.  I can even feel the grease with my gloves on.

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Personal Triumph

Last night, I was just inches away from the mirror, with a flashlight and floss.  What’s that dark spot on my tooth?  Is that a hole I see?

Today I had a dentist appointment.  They put that heavy flak-jacket thing on me to block out any unnecessary radiation, taking X-rays.  That means they’re searching.

I have bad teeth to begin with.  I also like sugary drinks. I’ve had plenty of cavities in the past, and as much as I love the feeling of drilling into my teeth, I didn’t want to have any more discovered.  But to my surprise and pleasure, I left without them finding any new cavities have developed.

Stay away from soda and energy drinks people, and brush your teeth.  And floss, as hard as it may be.  Paying dentist bills is harder.

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Exersize in Being Interrupted

It comes at an interesting time that I post this… my Memoirs of Grease… my experience at my job working in a deli.  I just got the news that I am being promoted to lead sandwich artisan or whatever, a title that has not existed in my whole time being here.  I mean, I get a pay raise, but I have yet to learn if it will be worth it, here in this land of grease I call the deli.

I don’t mean this as an exaggeration either.  Almost every surface is greasy to some extent.  We wear gloves pretty much any time we’re around food, so we don’t really notice it, but between sets of gloves, I feel a glimpse of it. These memoirs will be a  a detailing of each area, and its own brand of grease.

The sandwich bar is where I spend most of my time.  It holds various types of grease.  I open it in the morning to clean the layer of grease from the previous day that has worked its way in between and inside of the various pans that hold all the ingredients.

Starting from the middle is the cheese tray.  Cheese cut to go on a sandwich can be brittle, and although it starts out in solid slices, going through it throughout the day causes some to fall apart, and you will end up with a big pan full of scraps hiding under the usable stuff.

I get fresh trays for pretty much everything because it keeps everything cleanly and looking good.  We get these trays of avocado mush, easy for both spreading and smearing across various surfaces.  This gets cleaned next.  Veggies like lettuce, tomatoes and onions go next, but they’re nice, fresh, and just moist rather than greasy.

The far sides are grease hell.  We have our tray of sauces, and the bottles are pretty much always slick with a thin layer of invisible grease.  It makes them jump out of your hands sometimes.  But the worst is to come.  Last up is the Muffuletta, Artichoke Hearts, and Mozzarella, all in their own little corner.  Mufuletta, or olive mix is a good part olive oil.  Artichoke hearts and the fresh mozzarella sit in oil as well, for flavor and freshness.  It also goes everywhere when you want to put it on a sandwich.  This area gets cleaned extra well.

Meanwhile, we are open for business.  So while I do this, fill up the other ingredients, roll up portions of meats, and generally prep,-an activity which goes throughout my shift- customers are free to come up and order.  As my coworker said once, it is an exercise in being interrupted.

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The Interview

The floss digs in between your molars and jabs deep into your gums.  You struggle trying to pull it out.  “I can’t remember the last time I did this,” you say to yourself.  You spit, making a crimson line that beads down bowl of the sink.  You endure the mint flavor being wrung in and out, into deep cracks you didn’t know existed.  As you finish, you grit your teeth in the mirror.  There is a slight red spot right in between your two front teeth.  You run your tongue across the spot and hope that it will go unnoticed.

You brush and remember to go over your tongue more than usual.  You rinse and look up at the mirror to see a tiny black whisker growing out of your neck.  You grab the tweezers from your left, and guide the pincers to it.  The tweezers click a couple of times awkwardly before you can grasp it and yank it out.  Continue reading “The Interview”

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Mother of Mars now readable!

My pet writing project of the last few months has finally reached its final stages.  My book, Mother of Mars, is now available as a preview copy, in particular for all of my coworkers who have been asking to read it.  It still lacks cover art and definitely some editing that needs to come from someone else than me, but the story is all there.

Leaving the Earth to join the Mars Development Project was the hardest decision Cecil ever had to make.  After a freak accident leaves him debilitated and unable to fulfill his purpose, he falls into despair and must consider what he must do next.  Through the darkness, a voice calls out to him.  How will he respond?

Click here to read the whole story; let me know in the comments your feelings!  Ask for an autograph while you’re at it, you know, before I get big.

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More of Trump’s Wall

So as to not lost interest in this writing project, here’s more!  Other stuff to come soon!

In my case, they figured any chance to return ‘home’ was better than living with my adopted parents, who obviously knew nothing of my heritage and how to conform to my needs and a young Hispanic man.  Granted, my parents shied away from anything remotely resembling a pepper and all around avoided any seasoning that had even a slight hint of red to it, but I barely knew better myself.  After all, I grew up eating Taco Bell because of my parents’ afore mentioned lack of taste buds.  I did try various things that were a mixed bag of flavors and textures that were foreign to me.

I visited several classmates’ houses over the course of my childhood.  I remember being invited in ardently by parents who immediately bombarded me with fast tongued Spanish, returning a blank look to them. My friends would eventually rush over and whisper something to their parent, probably explaining that I didn’t in fact speak Spanish.  I didn’t even really have an accent either.  Their parents would always blink at me a couple of times, and then totally switch gears.

Dinner at houses like these always had me guessing at what would be served.  Like I said, a mixed bag.  Who knew there were so many parts of a cow that could be eaten?  Not to mention some of these hardly resembled meat, and if they did they resembled no cuts I had ever seen.  Let’s not even go into the names I may or may not have been able to pronounce.  I remember coming back home, sometimes still hungry, and trying to describe what I had eaten to my parents.  “Is that supposed to be food?” they would say.  Sometimes, I didn’t know myself