[Working class male, 693 words, Genre: Realistic Fiction]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Donald was always working. Putting in twelve hour shifts in the delivery and manufacturing of goods and wholesale items. It was a job… Or his job anyway. He spent his time coordinating the different trains that would come into the factory. Helping unload and stock containers that were coming off of trains. The trains would roll into the factory. They had gathered speed on their journey, but as they came into their destination they slowed. You could hear the work and bustle of other factory workers around them. Each with their own tasks set before them.
The trains would judder as they came to a slow at their destination. Like a marathon runner stopping, they did not stop outright. They all slowly came to a standstill and once they had arrived, that was when Donald’s work began. He called out instructions to the other workers so that they could all coordinate their movements.
Forklifts and ferries were used to unload the containers. They were all set up along the train carriages. And slowly, each carriage was unloaded.
Donald built up a sweat as he worked. In essence, he was driving a forklift around. But it was still taxing on the system. Each crate he had to unload, he had to pull the lever and feel the whole forklift tremble under the pressure and the weight of the container that he was unloading. The factory itself was heated. Heated from the sun that had been bearing down upon it all day. The sun seemed to act as a cooker upon the metal walls and metal roof. All of it was like some sort of oven or something.
And once everything was said and done. The floors got washed away with pressure hoses. To clear up the mess and dirt that had gathered as the workers drove their forklifts around and all of the other miscellaneous tasks. Cardboard had to be picked up and gathered, placed in giant trolleys that housed rubbish. Broken chips of plastic that had been taken off of the containers that had been unloaded. All sorts of miscellaneous parts.
And after all that was done. Donald was finished for the day. His feet ached, his arms ached, his whole body ached. There was sweat on his brow, intermixed with grime that had been gathered with the mix of dust and dirt that had been kicked up and into the air. He had gloves on. Gloves so that metal splinters did not break off from the crates and cut into him, getting wedged into his fingertips and palms of his hands.
He finished up for the day. He went to the workers change rooms. Got changed from his work clothes into clothes that were more comfortable. After he changed his clothes he sat down and stared at the wall.
The wall was quiet, the wall was silent… He sat in his seat, alone with the wall. His mind focused on something. He attempted to focus on something, but he couldn’t. He just sat there. Thinking to himself. Thinking, thinking, thinking… A swirl of thoughts mixed with confusion as he attempted to piece together his life path. Attempted to make sense of it. Tried to see that there was some order to the sequence of events that made up his life. The more he thought about it, the more his mind began to hurt, until… Until he exploded. Nothing made sense, everything was random chaos, he didn’t know what to do with himself or his life. None of it made any sense. He picked up his work boots and threw them up against the wall and called out, “Farkin’ bastards!”
Then he sat down again and put his heads in his hands. For a moment he felt like crying. He felt like it, but didn’t. Then he picked up his work boots that had been thrown up against the wall. Picked up his work clothes and gathered his belongings. Then he went home. He went home to get some rest. Tomorrow, he would be back at work again, doing the same thing and repeating the same tasks. Day after day. Night after night.