Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Labor Day Black

  Monday and the van was down. There were things to do, but The Van Man was not doing them. He had to get down and dirty with his machine. The van leaked exhaust inside its body which had caused Van Man to acquire a most splendid cough. The type of cough that choked him and made him resemble the destitute and homeless. Being broke and dirty did not help either.
  He needed new spark plugs, but the cheapest around were two bucks. He had a three-fifty under the hood. Eight cylinders. That would be sixteen total dollars for the plugs. Fifteen more than he was able to spend. Van Man decided to clean them and needed sandpaper. It was time for a journey.
  Van Man started his trek. Two miles under the hot, pissed-off Sun. She was forever his relentless companion. He was hungry and had not bathed in days. The gym, which he frequented for a shower, had been under renovations and the water facilities were off limits. To keep his mind off the slight misery, Van Man recited his Shakespeare.
  Children laughed and played. The smell of grilled meat filled the air. Van Man sweated and spent his dollar on sandpaper. Then he began the journey back. He ran out of The Bard's words and strolled by a patch of yellow flowers. He paused beside them and thought about a beautiful woman. Meaning. Strength. He walked on. Could he think any more foolishly? He could.
  He arrived at the van, drained. But it was time to start the real work. One at a time, the spark plugs were delicately removed and cleaned. It was difficult and it was filthy. Van Man's hands were shredded and caked in grime, but the plugs were in. He cleaned his wounded, greasy hands with carburetor cleaner. They stung for a moment, but the pain receded.
  He was broke and tired, lost and dirty. He needed a paycheck and some inspiration. But the van still ran and that was good enough for The Van Man.

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