labor dispute

the signs read, SHAME ON McGURK’S…LABOR DISPUTE…, the old man noticed as the car slowly drove-by…some honked…others not..

labor dispute, the old man laughed, what the hell are they disputing?…always somethin,’…the thick Texas drawl mumbled on…

i don’t know pop…i would imagine it’s a contract deal…maybe someone didn’t live-up to their word…

labor dispute…says who?…I don’t know why they gotta stand on the side of the road like that..causin’ all that attention…

to make a point pop…to make a point, kept driving…switching lanes…looking over at a man past his prime…maybe living longer than he should…,
bunch ah’ babies what they are…never enough…never enough..

enough what dad…

hell…they’re never happy…you  could give ’em the world..

that right pop…is that right…you ever been in a union pop…

hell no…would never do such a thing…they owe the company…the company doesn’t owe them…, the old man scowled…lines formed on a forehead….

and this owing you speak of…did you owe the company dad…did you…

an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay…

and you were taken care-of…provided for…’cause i don’t recall that dad…

what’re you talking ’bout, turned down the radio…turned-up the air-conditioner…

we moved from town to town…nothing stable…nothing…it was job to job to job pop…either they pissed you off or you pissed them off…

that’s not the way…

how was it then…tell me…you company man you…you Pinkerton of old…am i missing somthing…

you don’t know what the hell your talkin’ ’bout…never do…just a bunch ah bullshit…that’s all…my affairs are my business…capeche..

right pop…right…

and we drove through town in silence…not a word…nothing…the old man didn’t look at me and i didn’t look at him…just drove…

we went past old torn-down factories…used car lots…strip joints out on the edge of town…quiet…

the next morning i left him to be by himself…broke…living on Social Security and an insurance policy from mom…

haven’t seen him since…

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