Tuesday, March 11, 2008

They Sit on Picnic Tables

They sit on picnic tables each morning, wearing camouflage jackets and the UGA caps they carry an entire day, wedged in a pocket or bag, just to don them for these 15 glorious minutes when they stand outside, fenced in so they don't escape. It doesn't matter if it's cold or even raining. They only come inside and forsake their hats for the hardest of downpours. If it's cold, they hunch their shoulders and huddle closer. If it's hot, they sweat in their boots and caps, leaving that dark ring lined by that telltale white line of salt. They'd rather stand outside, as close to freedom as possible, than to spend any more time inside than necessary. When students from a neighboring shop class walk out back, dumping the scraps of the day's class, the boys, and the strange, tough and needy girls who keep them company, crowd the chain link, fingers intertwined with metal, shouting conversations like puppies barking from their pen, more for attention than anger or warning.

These kids, who wear mud boots on rainy days, will grow up to work a job where the use their hands and their brawn. They'll show up early, leave on time and collect their paychecks each Friday. They'll spend their evenings and weekends in the woods or on the river in their caps and camouflage, or they'll drink their paycheck away until they wake up Monday morning knowing they have to go back to work to build up funds for the next weekend's bender. They'll work. They'll party. They'll make more kids who sit outside on picnic tables each morning clad in camouflage and caps.

8 comments:

Mickey said...

One of your best.

Meaghan said...

I agree with Mickey.

And you're right, they will. But you know what? We need these people. We need them to do the brawn work. We need them for plumbing, carpentry, mechanics, and even carpet. It takes all kinds, I suppose! Just seems like there's something better for them to do in their spare time...

sid said...

Okay that was very depressing.

Courtney said...

Yeah, I hate UGA caps too.

Chris said...

How poetic. I remember those guys from my high school, as well, only with different colored caps.

Jacob said...

Thanks Mickey and Meaghan.

Meaghan: I actually agree with you there as you'll see today.

Sid and Courtney: See my explanation today.

Chris: I'm going to take a wild guess that instead of black and/or red, they were an annoyingly bright orange with a big white T. Nothing against Tennessee, I just hate bright shades of orange in general. The only pretty shade of orange is that burnt orange the other UT (Texas) uses.

Julie said...

It's my life. I'll do what I want to do.

Jacob said...

Julie: Wha? Bon Jovi?