A Short Work by Brian Barbeito

The elevator workers were a naturally hard working, alcoholic, racist, and misogynistic bunch. But what could one do?–He tried to keep a low profile. Dealing with generations of ill-kept thought, banal amusements, and misconceptions–even hatred–was not his thing. He only needed the pay-check–what was the harm in that?- isn’t that what everyone did? One could not fight the world and one’s own battles at the same time. Jacob climbed the scaffolding and began to take the hardware off the walls on what they called a ‘mod job’ because the elevator was being converted to one that would be lifted by hydraulics. When working on the higher floors, Jacob really thought that the workers should be wearing harnesses, but there were no safety measures in place. On a break, looking out at the city, there was only row upon row of buildings. A mishmash of things–the utter uncreative mind had shown itself–rectangular buildings in rows–some not with any sense at all–off to the side– like afterthoughts–a monkey could have managed the design of the city, its infrastructure, and the rest–better than the engineers and architects–so called–that had put the mess together. It was not for him to judge though–so he curtailed his thoughts–and tried to drink his pink grapefruit juice. He adjusted his pen–in his shirt–which was really not a shirt, but the top of blue standard issue industrial coveralls. He looked out again. Then at his watch- a glance. Tick Toc. Tic Toc. He was resigned as much as possible to whatever the fates had in store. Looking again… All those buildings had elevators at one time or another would surely need some repair if not complete modification and beyond this metropolis there was an entire world. Things were looking up.

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