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FLB: The Final Chapter

March 2, 2010

I got this theory about Lance. Maybe you don’t notice him when you work with him. Because in every work place, people got their problems. You’ve got spreadsheets to deal with.Photocopy codes to remember. Maybe you’ve got that big meeting. Maybe you’re trying to get all your tools together for a trip overseas. Who knows maybe the boss has been riding you so much, you just don’t have time to notice one more new guy around the place, and what’s with the high turnover round here anyway? No wonder people quit, I tell ya.

You’re starting to look like a veteran. A survivor. What’s the use getting to know one more guy? Seems nice enough. But fuck it. You’ll be having that going-away party soon enough. Speaking of, we don’t seem to be having those as much as we used to, but it seems like there’s fewer and fewer familiar faces in the halls. So whatever. You’ve got to knuckle down. Starts with some early mornings. Then some late nights. But either way it sucks and you’re the one pulling the weight. Why would you care about one more guy?

But then something happens. Maybe you’re stuck in the elevator—weird those doors were about to CLOSE on you, but that new guy was right there. What’s his name again? Anyway, good thing he was cause it was like they were going to eat you. Whatever, you’ve got places to be. Or you don’t know how it got there, but damn if there wasn’t the biggest rat, is that what it was? In the company kitchen. What the hell was that thing? Anyway the new guy was there, and just WAM! He smacked it with just a piece of equipment lying around. Swept it up fast too, nothing to see here, right? Just some garbage. That new guy. You know he seems all right.

Then on that one night, when everything all turns to shit, you know, you work so late things don’t go your way, then well, must have been some kind of bad curry you had for takeout that day because you were seeing things you’d never seen in your life. A very bad dream. And then doing things, you never thought you would do. Scared out of your mind. Scared for your life. Then splash! It’s cold water in your face. The shop is shut down. The plant closed. New guy gives you a coke. It’s got lots of sugar he says. Caffeine. Wakes you up. Makes you I don’t know just have a drink, you’ll feel better. You’re covered in bruises, but you’re okay. And you don’t know how you got out here. And the new guy comes over looks you in the eye, knocks you on the shoulder and says, hey buddy. It’ll be all right.

Next day, you go to work, and the place is shut down. You just stand out there, with your coat, your tools, your uniform, your briefcase, your headset looking at what’s left remaining of the place, and it’s like you wake up for the first time, you see it for what it is. And you think, my god, how did I go in there for every day of my life? And then you get on with it. Living. And that new guy? You never give him another thought for the rest of your days.

And that’s what Freelance Blues is all about.

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