28 August 05
Slingblade At Work
Slingblade has been assigned a job as a porter. This morning he was mopping the runs.
“How much are they payin’ you to mop, Slingblade?” Adam asked.
“They said ten cents,” Slingblade grunted.
“How come only ten cents an hour?”
“They said 'cause I got no GED.”
“Are you gonna get a raise anytime soon?”
“They said perhaps a nickle or a dime in six months. George is gonna help me apply for it.”
“Ten cents ain’t much.”
“It ain’t bad. I’ve made fifteen hundred dollars in seven years.”
“Not bad, Slingblade. Not bad.”
Slingblade fell silent and his head trembled. Adam walked away, leaving Slingblade staring at the thunderheads moving over the prison. Slingblade suddenly seized the bucket and aimed it at some pigeon droppings on the concrete. The water landed and splashed some inmates who were playing cribbage. The inmates shook their heads at Slingblade. Slingblade snatched the mop and went to work on the pigeon droppings. At the end of the concrete, Slingblade put the mop down and refilled the bucket. Most of the inmates in the vacininty of Slingblade scattered, except for George, who was approaching Slingblade. Slingblade raised the bucket. His unsteady hands began to move the bucket forward. But his body jackknifed, the bucket flew in the air, and water went all over George.
“So that’s how you really feel about me, Slingblade,” George said.
Slingblade shook a fist in the air. He chuckled and yelled “bah” twice. He tried to speak but only strange syllables came out.
“I’ll come and help you tonight,” George said, and left in a hurry.
For a few minutes, Slingblade gazed at nothing. Then, as if a reset button had been pressed, he grabbed the mop and set upon some fresh pigeon droppings as if nothing had happened.
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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood