The hidden years in Canada 13, the accident prone

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 15 March 08:10

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Accident prone

‘Let's get started,’ George said, and he continued, ‘because if not, we have to work overtime for Mistuh Kurt.’ Mama Fuzz grinned the pigpen had briefly sounded British. It was not nice and it was easy to score for the pig but the tension broke and everybody grabbed it with both hands. 'Pig's right, ‘I said,' my plans for tomorrow are different than hanging from steel beams or packing drywall. Anyone wants the security line? ‘ I held the snap hook up that could be clipped to your belt.

‘No, here are no sissies,’ laughed George and I let the hook go. I pulled the first plasterboard a little from the stack and expected that Rico would have grabbed the other end, but George stepped into his place. 'Okay, big boy, ‘he laughed, we’ll go for it.’ What was I supposed to say? ‘Not with you? I do not trust you. ‘ I should have said it, but something held me back, I did not want to look stupid. Muscles tensed in George’s arm, the man was a powerhouse. He grabbed the plate slightly from the end and I felt he grabbed doing so more weight than what I was used to. He relieved my arm.

The next team was waiting to pick up a huge board. George pushed and I felt like the front wheels of a shopping cart, which is controlled from behind and pushed. It was not fun, he started to half run in some kind of slow trot and I had to run along, because I was stuck to  his board. We were not working together, he determined how fast we were going and where. The wind which is always present at the higher levels, was trying to get a grip on the board. George changed the angle a bit and the plate was now resting at an angle against our shoulders and shoved to the ground, like the spoilers do on racing cars. We reached the final destination and with a sweep the plate was lowered on the ground. When we walked back, the last team just picked up a plate.

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George, grabbed a heavy plate and turning his back, he shifted it with a rhythmic movement that would have suited a dancer, he lifted the plate up. And we were the last in line, devastated by the wind seeking us out on our way, and I realized what was wrong. In front of me was Freddy, my back cover, with Rico. George and I joined the queue. All witnesses were in front of me. I had to rely on the kindness of George. I saw out of my peripheral vision, the skip move up.Which meant that the lift slowly was working it’s way to the top. I felt more than I saw George change the angle of the plate and the wind began to get a grip on the plate. I should have dropped it, but then the plate would have shattered my foot or leg or pushed me over the edge. ‘George, the wind,’ I called out, but my words were lost in the wind. He straightened out to push the plate just a little more, and the wind began really to treat us like a sailing boat. From behind it pushed with force, part of the plate to the right and I was forced to the left at the other end.

My heart pounded in my ears, with all the strength I had, I regained some control, we came into a macabre dance., The wind drove us wide of the group and I kept my balance just now George put more speed into it and changed the angle of the plate again and we were pushed to the end of the floor, such as a wad of paper gets blown about. I cursed myself that I had not clicked the safety hook on. Pigpen fought behind me to keep giving me direction, I would go over the edge, I knew it at once, I would be blown off the building and George would cry crocodile tears. My right knee suddenly cracked by the tremendous force pushing against it, if I twisted it than I was done for. I saw some steel stuts looming up, standing upright, solidly shot into the concrete. I managed to do a few faster paces and thereby got the control over the plate, George was now being pulled along a little.

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It must have surprised him that I was charging the last meters to my death, accelerating the process. I threw myself forward and ran hard into the first steel stud. The plate drove in George's shoulder and he let it go with a curse. We were no longer connected and when the plate fell down, I saw what I had done. My left hand had been driven into the sharp edge of the steel stud driven. I had no feeling in it. I dared not to look. My middle finger and my index finger and my ring finger had cushioned the blow of the board driven into the beam. I was lost, I was sure. I looked and saw what was incredible, I saw three open wounds to the bone with white flesh around it. No blood came out, later I learned that if you get a quick clean cut in building, it always takes a while for the body to catch up with reality and bleed. But my fingers were still attached to my hand.

With amazement I studied my fingers as ladies sometimes do, looking at newly painted nails. Then came the pain and the blood. I cringed and kept my hands between my knees. Everything was dusty and I could not think properly. I would be like the carpenters at the bar. I would stand up holding up my mutilated hand with two fingers and shout, five beer for the carpenters. I got a kick that made me roll over. George stood behind me and took aim again. I rolled over and he kicked me again and again, he was kicking the living hell out of me, I saw the edge come closer.

‘Freeze,’ I heard someone yell and George froze. The lip came walking towards us. ‘What the fuck is going on here,’ he wanted to know? The wind picked up the plate and that stupid fucker let go, ‘said the pig.’ Then you don’t need to kick him, ‘said the lip. Let me see your hand, ‘the lip commanded me. ‘The stut,’ I whined, now half in shock. ‘You two come along,’ said the lip, ‘you go with me to the first aid room, I hope they can keep your fingers.’ In the elevator he said, ‘some bad things are going to happen to you, but I'll be sticking with you.’ I suddenly saw the lip with different eyes. The cage came down and the lip gave George a hard look, ‘you can go and don’t ever show your stupid face around here anymore. Fuck off,  get your salary at the office, I’ll phone ahead. ‘ ‘Why,’ asked the pigpen with narrowed eyes. ‘ You are accident prone, ‘that's enough reason. ‘We’ll go there,’ pointing to the first aid station and I limped along while I held my bleeding hand.

 

San Daniel March 2015

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