The hidden years,119 how the sewage system works

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Friday 14 August 19:22


How the sewage system works

We were still digging but the hardest work was done. Now we were digging a slight decline. A gentle slope leading down. ‘This is the exciting part,’ Pete said with a pickaxe in his hands  cutting out some bumps in the trajectory where soon large tubes would be. I did not see the excitement in it but I had to admit it was less heavy. He paused and looked for a cigarette from a new pack. ‘Pete,’ I said, warning him, ‘I would not do it, I really mean it, you do not know me, put that away!’ Slowly, painfully slowly Pete took the cigarette and put it between his lips and let it rest there. It bounced a little up and down between his lips and meanwhile Pete fumbled with another hand, probably for a lighter. I realized that the supreme power struggle began to take shape and that Pete would take the space that was offered to him and that once restored, he slowly but surely would get a big mouth again.

‘Yup,’ I said, 'so sorry for your little daughter. ‘I hope that the grave will not be too far from your home so that she can visit you. Yes when her mother remarries, she will probably have to move anyway. How do you see those things, Pete? ‘ 'Dirty dog, ‘he replied, and crumpled the pack into a ball and threw it over the edge. ‘But this last one I’ll smoke, just try to stop me.’ ‘There will always be a last one for you I'm afraid,’ I laughed, ‘until the flowers are neatly arranged on your grave. Too bad, I was just beginning to get used to you 'The harsh steam whistle announced the break and broke the power struggle and as he took the first steps on the surface, he pulled the first smoke in his lungs. ‘ Some good advice to you, ‘growled Pete,’ you keep my family out of our conversations. ‘ So we reached the line that started to form and we waited for our turn.

I looked forward to the evening, I would meet Bev and Don and Richard at Pop's and it seemed like an eternity had passed since we had last met. 'Move on, ‘ said an old construction worker while he poked me in the back and a little later it was our turn. The last few hours of the day passed and to be honest, it was good to see how well the work had been done. I felt quite proud, I had endured a pay week’s time and the result of our work pleased me. ‘Here comes the boss,’ Pete said, ‘quick look busy’ and leveled a bit here and there some more. ‘But that's not the foreman,’ I said, the man didn’t even remotely look like big Ken. ‘I mean the real boss of it all,’ Pete grumbled under his breath. The man had some well dressed men with rolls of paper under the arms, with him. ‘That looks good men,’ said the boss. ‘Thank you,’ muttered Pete with an averted gaze in a submissive way .. ‘Excuse me,’ I said, 'Are you really the boss who takes people on? ‘Then I have talked to you on the phone.’ ‘Yes,’ the man said, ‘so what?’ 'You have taken me on as an apprentice plumber, and you said that there would be a course ‘ ‘Yes,’ replied the man, and he looked at me with interest, ‘and so what?’. ‘I would like to know if I can follow that course,’ I continued.


‘What's your name boy,’ the man asked dangerously friendly? ‘Daniel’ Sir, I replied. ‘So Danny boy, I'll give you the course now on the spot,’ the man laughed, ‘pay attention’ ‘You want to know how the plumbing's  done boy?’ ‘Yeah sure,’ I said happily. ‘ Okay dude, the only thing you have to know is that shit goes down the hill and that payday is on Thursday, did you understand that? ‘ The men around him started to laugh and I colored up behind my ears. ‘That was it, I asked?’ I could not believe my ears. ‘Yes, that is the whole course and now to work,’ the man barked. ‘I'll tell you what you can do with your whole lake Bonavista and your course 'I replied. ‘Go and sit on it, shove it up yours.’ ‘I quit, I want nothing more to do with you' and I threw my shovel down.’ I wish you well Pete, ‘I said good luck with your boss,’ you'll need it as a white nigger. ‘Can’t quit ‘,’ said the man who had given me the course. ‘If you come closer with your festering gob,’ I continued, ‘I will close it for you.’ ‘You can forget about your day's pay,’ the man said. ‘Put your project up your ass,’ I said, surprised at the words that I screamed in anger. The boss retreated a few steps back and I walked off the field. I realized that I still had the helmet on .. 'Hey boss man, ‘I shouted over the site,’ put this next to my stolen wages up your’s, ‘I threw the helmet his direction and I walked away and felt quite so wonderfully light and free, I floated through the air to the Pontiac.

San Daniel 2015

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