Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"The Last Job"

Start: The Last Boat (Page 13, Copyright 2007), by Michael Hite
End: The Job (Page 13, Copyright 1998), by Douglas Kennedy
he story between them: by Michael Rigg

Their first child, Bernard, my older brother, was born in Brooklyn while my parents were visiting Nanna in 1897. Mama went into hysterics, and a wet nurse had to be brought in. It took a year for her to accept the defeat -- not to mention Bernard. My parents had a second child, Nora, in the winter of 1899. Nora was born on Nantucket (thank the Lord), but she died three weeks later (God rest her soul). My parents would wait until 1900 to conceive me.

Yeah, that's right. I'm 108 years old.

There are a lot of guys my age. Of course most of them are in nursing homes or igloos or frosty castles in Northern Yakutsk, but not me. I'm the oldest guy in New York City.

I work for Loughton and Prime. It's a paper company that specializes in everything from parchment to greeting cards, from packing cardboard to the fine milled recycled stuff the U.S.A. uses to print tax bills on. It's a good job. The hours are steady. I've been employed at L&P for over 83 years.

Yup. Started as a stock boy in the basement of the old place on Richmond and 43rd. That was before the fire and before they moved us to the Keller building a block from Ground Zero. Of course, that got changed in 2001. For the past seven years we've been occupying the basement, third, and 46th floors of the Krane and Gamble building.

Why didn't I retire? Two reasons, really: love and life.

You see I don't look like I'm 83. In fact, most of my co-workers and my old boss think I'm -- well, you're going to think this is down right crazy. They think I'm 42. It's true. And, if anyone were to find the truth of the matter, you'd see for yourself. I'd be posted all over the interwebs and the TV. My aging slowed not long after my family and I left Nantucket and moved inland. I settled in the big city. Most of my family, including Nora and Bernard, have left me long ago. Rest their souls.

But I was talking about love and life.

The life part, as I was getting to, comes from my job. "If you love your jog, you never work a day in your life," or something like that, some wise-ass once said. Well, he was right. I love my job. I love paper.

And paper, it turns out, loves me. Well, my body anyway. You see, I don't eat meat. I don't drink wine. I don't eat fruits or vegetables nor even chocolate, soda, or candy. I eat paper.

Oh, the L&P Big Heads have never discovered the minuscule bits and reams lost here and there. And why would they think the youngster in Accounting was eating it? It's easy enough to do. You just grab a ream for your desk drawer, say to replenish the printer in your office, and nibble off it throughout the day. Tear a triangle off here, a strip there. I wash it down with bottled water -- my only grocery expense.

I can't explain it more than that. It has kept me young, and apparently had me frozen in time for the past 66 years. Well... until I met Lois.

Lois was brought in just a week ago. She works in the cubicle down the hall from my office. She's the administrative assistant (I remember when they were called 'secretaries' and before that, 'sexrataries'). Lois hasn't noticed me, but I've noticed her.

You see, aside from a great love of paper, I also have a fondness for gals who just don't shut up.

Lois is just such a gal.

Today, I decided, would be the day I ask her on a date. We won't be having dinner, mind you, lest I give away my secret, but maybe we'll take in a picture show -- I believe I'll be able to stomach popcorn -- maybe tear a piece of the cardboard popcorn box here and there without her noticing.

Yup. Today was the day. Lois was staying late to help Mr. Sanderwaste locate a new outlet for our western cardboard distribution run.

As I left my office and approached her cubicle, I could hear her going at full throttle.

"I know I know I know I know, but lookit, where do you think you gonna find a better outlet? Nah nah nah nah. They tell you that but then you end up with nothin'. And I'm talkin' nothin' nothin'.

1 comment:

Siladitya said...

Did Steve Harvey copy the book title Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man

and theme from an earlier book?

Book with same title & theme copyrighted and published by Sharon P. Carson in 2003

CHICAGO, IL – Sharon P. Carson the author of the original title: Act Like A Lady –Think Like A Man, watched the February 27th episode of the Ophra show on which Steve Harvey was promoting his book of the same title. She was hoping that Steve would reveal to Oprah where he got the title and the theme for the book. It just seemed odd to her that his book had the same title and theme as her book that was copy written in 2003.

Upon subsequently purchasing the book, she found some interesting parallels and realized that it is not unusual for a high profiled person to take a great title and theme, rewrite a book and use their celebrity status to sell it. This she says happens too often to the unsung poets, authors and entrepreneurs of the world.

Steve wrote in his book that his hope was to “empower you with a wide-open look into the minds of men”. Sharon P. Carson wrote in her book in 2003 that her hope was for women to gain some insight into how men think in terms of relationships. Sharon also noted that in chapter 8 of Steve Harvey’s book titled “Why Men Cheat” he came to the same conclusion that she did in chapter 37 of her book, titled “Why would a man cheat”, and the answer was, “because they can”.

Sharon actively promoted her book before the release in January 2009 of Steve Harvey’s book, and would not like to see her promotion efforts hindered. She feels that her book has much to offer from a woman’s perspective and seeks to empower women to practice self love and tough love in relationships.

Before the publication of Steve Harvey’s book of the same title, Sharon bought the domain name: www.actlikealadythinklikeaman.com from which she has been selling her book. She has also held seminars with women at a Chicago University in promotion of her book, and can be viewed on the following youtube clip as she was being interviewed on a cable television program about her book in 2007 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxVVQX15X2Y.

Mindful of all the self - published poets and authors who have a hard time finding publishers for their works, Sharon is currently consulting with attorneys regarding her options, and hopes that her book with the first and original title of Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man will finally receive the recognition it deserves for the wisdom, encouragement, and empowerment that it provides to women.