Crouched over, hand on hip, with low levels of glucose, barely standing upright. Manuel was at the final hurdle of a long, hard, gruesome shift; each day becoming more punishing. Now 54 – and not in a prime state – he watched his old “Work buddies” sling rusty old wheel rims, into a huge garbage compactor they call “Ash extractors.” One could call them – Visceral jaws of human consumption.
The rims served only one purpose; to strip the last bit of combusted waste, off the heavy metal cladding – so the maintenance guys could go and spit shine it; then massage their small ego’s with an uncompromising sense of worth: if only they knew how little significance, the hours of sweat, and exposure to cancerous bacteria, made to their life – if anything – it shortened it.
The somber look that plastered Manuel’s face – a mask that all could see. He didn’t want to be looking at this shite, at his age, at this time in the morning. He never said so, but, his heels were burning like smoking coals in a sauna; and his mind pondering the next bout of equine sprint’s – he was a “Horsey man.”
Manuel bent down gently, to keep his knees from total collapse. Picked up a wheel rim, and held it close to his swollen stomach – too reduce the back agony. Walked slowly over to the large steel door – a door that carries over a ton of metal fabrication – lifted up the rim with his remaining energy, and slammed it into the swell, of already injected rims. Manuel stood back, slumped over, put his hand on his hip, and watched the jaws do their work. Every stroke contained potential energy, for a stray missile; made of scrap metal; launched at terminal velocity.
Today was Manuel’s “unlucky day,” as he stood there, in front of the open door. A potential projectile was launched into reality. With the speed of sound, and the accuracy of a veteran sniper; his middle digit was the victim. Instantly, Manuel fell to the floor in agony; gripping his hand close to his stomach – some say this is a natural human reaction.- and part of the sacral chakra, which can aid with healing energy – this was not on Manuel’s mind – but a natural response his body took. He let out a visceral roar, and looked up at the watching audience. Manuel felt like a clown – a common emotion – he stood up and immediately left for the safety room, about 50 meters and 2 story’s of metal steps away.
He booted the door open, sat down on the table; a table that served as a chez lounge, for most. Gritted teeth, he began to weep, uncontrollable blubbering; from a deep feeling of desolation. His finger now purple, it was on its way to death. A teardrop fell from his puffy cheek; and nestled into his bloodied cuticle; the salt content providing natural disinfection – Manuel’s body was trying to heal itself – all them years of unreachable self control; in a single moment was reversed, and he realised; the healing he needed was inside himself – all along.