Tired Old Man


A tired old man sits, facing southeast, in the light, looking at the darkness of his locker.  It is 5:17pm.  The darkness in his dark green locker looks almost appetizing for lack of a better term, a dark place is where he wants to be. No light, a place to rest, ease his headache, rest his tired bones.  He is seated for a moment, resting after a hard days work, before he leaves for home.  He ruminates on the day at work, he is not happy with the day, though only one person is responsible for that unhappiness.

Taking orders from one he thinks of as nothing more than a pain in the ass is a difficult thing to handle, but he handles it with all the aplomb he can.

He offers no resistance when the young man tells him he isn’t doing the job quite right.  He smiles, he knows he isn’t doing the job wrong, though he knows he isn’t perfect.  That is in part why he takes it.  “Absolutely.”  “Yeah, I hear ya.”  “Of course.”  is the kind of answer he gives.  He listens as the young man tells him again how to load the boxes, though he knows how.   The old man listens, he doesn’t have to, and he knows this.  He is trying to have respect for people who have been around this job longer and know better.

He thinks the differences between his work and the young mans are only stylistic.   It grates on his nerves, and he has thought about lashing out to defend himself from the constant heckling, or telling the young man to just shut the hell up, but he thinks it would be wrong.  The young man slows him down, and he knows it, both men know it, but it is better to be slow and right than fast and wrong, I guess.

The young man is over cautious for his age, or perhaps the old man is under cautious.  Caution is necessary, tis true, but the old man thinks that there is no point to caution if it protects nothing, and the young mans caution protects nothing.

The young man doesn’t see it that way, he is sure.  And the old man knows he could be wrong, so he checks his ego at the door, and leaves it be, walks away.  When he gets really angry he simply shuts up, doesn’t respond at all. At the base of all the old mans internal complaints are one thought.  He wants respect, and he isn’t getting it, and age should mean something to the young man.

But he stopped his train of thought.  “Hell,” the old man thought to himself “maybe I need to do my job better and quit whining. The kid might be right, maybe I ain’t all that.  Knuckle up and do better tomorrow.”  The longer he thinks the young man is trying to disrespect him, the more it will seem he is.  He thinks to himself “Bunch of crap, no matter how you slice it.”

The old man smiles, walks to the clock and punches out of work, and walks home.  He thinks to himself ” I just need more damn sleep.”

_________________________

That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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