Ramblings from The Old Man in the Attic 27 April 2022

I’ve been talking to my friend George, about my father’s ability to control difficult high school students, the ability to control, to be the boss. He was a straight shooter, totally honest, and people knew it which helped, but more than that. George mentioned a friend much like my dad, some a teacher, also undedicated beyond a few years of public grade school. Could be some kind of unappreciated and unnoticed bond between the working class, of men who come home dirty.

Women get dirty. I’ve worked beside them on assembly lines. Hot sweaty days and busy work that did not stop. Work is doing something you would rather not be doing if there was a choice. Conveyor passing never stopped unless you screwed things up. I did that only once. The others on the line were seriously pissed at me. Production must be made, hard work for bottom wages.

I was truck driver’s helper for a few nights, midnight starting all-nights, unloading more than a hundred-fifty, heavy boxes at fourteen Burger Kings in and around Tacoma, Washington. The driver helped unloading and did more than me. I’ve never been so tired as I was those nights and the mornings after. I was in my thirties, only passing through these worlds, but most of them were in it for their lifetimes. They’re invisible. We do not see them and we could not do without. If only we could get together. We’re the vast majority but a few of us are doing their best to keep us apart, using money, race, religion, color or whatever works. It’s been working.

I’ve seen snips about ‘anti-intellectual’ attitudes. “You’ve been to college, had advantages, and money, more than me. You think your smarter than me and maybe you are. How can I trust that?” It’s so hard to know the truth in this photoshopped world, news stations someone bought, and internet. I don’t think a lot of people anti-intellectual, but there are more than enough. These are people who supporting us, who do things we cannot do without, who build things, and repair things, sometimes get killed doing things. Easy to see why they dig Trump. “This is the way we talk. We don’t care if you swear or make rude remarks. So do we. You’re one of us. You put it right out front. We get it without need to think. You may be a jerk but you’re our jerk.”

So it goes. I get it and keep reading, ‘It’s impossible to change someone’s mind set, their  point of view’. A grain of truth in that as well. Tell the truth, but tell it sideways. “Tell it slanted,” Emily Dickinson suggested. Well said. Put a spin on the truth, approach it from an angle of sorts rather than head on. Hard to do. If we can’t do it, might be better to say nothing.

About Bruce Louis Dodson

Bruce Louis Dodson is an American expat living in Borlänge, Sweden with his wife, and and one cat . He is an artist and world traveler who writes fiction and poetry and practices photography in his less than copious free time. His work has appeared in: Barely South Review - Boundaries Issue, Blue Collar Review, Pulsar Poetry (UK), Foliate Oak, Breadline Press West Coast Anthology . The E-buffet, Qarrtsiluni, Struggle Magazine, Pearl Literary Magazine, Contemporary Literature Review: India, 3rd Wednesday, Sleeping Cat Books - Trip of a Lifetime Anthology, Northern Liberties Review, Authors Abroad - Foreign & and Far Away Anthology, The Path, Page & Spine, The Crucible, Sleeping Cat Books -Trips of a Lifetime, Vine Leaves, Pirene's Fountain,Tic Toc Anthology - Kind of a Hurricane Press, Cordite Poetry Review, Buffalo Almanac and mgv2.
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2 Responses to Ramblings from The Old Man in the Attic 27 April 2022

  1. Sue Pace says:

    In high school and in college was a short order cook, a dishwasher, a hired hand (female) during wheat harvest and much more. It help push me ahead with my desire for college. I paid for my graduate level tuition and books by being a nude model for the art classes. Every step in the muck and mud made me appreciate everything I had later.

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