Eight years now, worked here more days than I care to remember. Started as a wide-eyed innocent boy, fresh from dole queues and eager to please. Here I rode or trod to drove my way to work and not even now do I notice my surroundings. Sometimes I wonder about the people in the building across – our only vision from our cramped tiny office and I only got to see out of the window after some five years.
On bright sunlit days, we’d still need all the lights on – tucked away we were and all the heat would rise and bake us if ever we were upstairs and sometimes I’d be on the top shelf cleaning up touching the asbestos roof as the sun beat mercilessly down on it and I’d be carrying a cooling fan with me, lead dangling all over the place as only one socket in office upstairs.
I remember the place as was all those years ago and now only me and one other remain of those nine who worked there then and soon I’ll be off leaving it all behind (did it take me this long to figure it out?). And work, we worked like crazy. Me young and eager to impress, I worked my coworker out of a job – lazy scuzzball he was (we are now pretty good friends). He spent most of his day lazing away as I’d already done it all, so quick was I and I loved it and they loved it too.
I don’t see that enthusiasm now in my co-workers and wonder if I’m being too hard on them and fuck it, I’ve damn near killed myself doing this and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone; so today I gets to thinking, it’s not work that’s so bad but business and the business of work. The endless emphasis on money and more money and the bloody mad dash for it and then us panting and dying in the race being knocked back by some young bureaucrat says you can’t do that. Bloods boil I’ll say.
Now I’m in a funny position, not to care, to look back and reflect. Someone turns to me and says ‘don’t you think this is bad and wrong?’ And I thinks ‘shit what do I care?’ I stopped myself and took some time and sat upstairs and looked out of the window. Saw the trees on the edge of this squabble of old factories and buildings – reminded me of good things, reminded me of freedom and I saw the freedom I’m about to gain. I looked at the cars across the way, remembered mine and Mark’s motorbikes getting run down by some mad driver who did a bunk from his job next door when the police came; remember all the pretty young girls who worked there too, who so astounding was their beauty to my keen young eyes that I failed to ever utter a word to them. The sunny days are still clear in my mind.