one eye open…

She used to stay up all hours of night waitin’ on him to come home…sat there on the sofa with the television on and the sound way down low…pictures of people talkin’…movin’ their mouths…she’d watch old time movies…Spencer Tracy holdin’ Katharine Hepburn…makin’ her understand that he loved her…she longed for that kind of love…

And he’d finish second shift…headed straight to the bar with his crew…men with rings on fingers and contempt in their hearts…hatin’ the fact that somehow they got stuck…a slow seepin’ through to the bottom…tryin’ to keep their heads above the muck that everyday life brought them…wishin’ somebody’d reach out to save ’em…wishin’ they’d never taken those vows before man and God…the preacher never said it was gonna be easy…

They were kids when they made these choices…young kids that had just gotten outta high school and took jobs at factories…earnin’ paychecks by screwin’ bolts…it’s what their father did and their father before them did…get a job…get married…start a family…it was expected of ’em…they couldn’t say no…

There were those that left town…took off…joined the Corps and saw the world…fought in battles…sent letters home…did their duty and got out…only to come home again and face what they left…nuts and bolts…nuts and bolts…

At three o’clock in the mornin’ he’d come home…stumblin’ in the kitchen and placing a plate of food in the microwave…seated at the kitchen table with his head bobbin’ back and forth as he put bites of meat loaf into his mouth…television turned onto some infomercial…while she slept with one eye open…

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