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Yesterday Was Boring, Who Knows About Today

Yesterday Was Boring, Who Knows About Today

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Yesterday Was Boring, Who Knows About Today 

I work in an oil refinery, where I’m either doing work or just writing junk on my cellphone. I don’t have very much time; except the unpredictable times when I have all the time in the world. I try and balance creativity with my day job working heavy construction, I’m not sure if it’s working. Let’s make the best of it. 

 

Safety Hero Parking Spot 

 They gave me one of the temporary parking spots up by the front gate for working safe and not getting injured. It was cool to get this parking spot because usually I sow up to my job late and have to walk about half a mile through the lot. The first day I had the parking safety spot, I was running late as usual but because I had the spot up by the turnstile I actually had a chance at being able to park my car, jump out of the car, and sprint through the turnstiles just in time to not get docked. I zoomed into the lot, rocks and dust flying. I cut the wheel and pulled into the spot head-first but the curb is high there and I got the nose of the car stuck on the curb. Later, when I went to leave, I ripped the nose of the car off. The whole damn thing, cracked plastic and broken fiberglass. Had to duct tape it back on to get home, like one does. 

Waiting For A Truck 

At seven am we get word from the management that the flat bed tractor trailer is about two hours away, in transit from Pennsylvania. We could expect the flat bed tractor trailer around nine-nine-thirty. Be ready after our coffee break to unload the delivery. 63,000 pounds. The crane was already set up and ready to go. The rigging was hanging from the hook. 

Submitting 

Life is cramming anything joyful in that you can in-between tedious  life sucking responsibilities. I’ve got a list I keep on my cellphone of places to submit my stories and things. I’m always adding to the list. Places that I want to get my stuff published. The big distraction. A part of my day always seems to be on pause. We’re always waiting for a permit. Or a piece of equipment to show up. Or the welding machine runs out of gas or it’s started to rain and we can’t weld in the rain so we’re hiding under anything to stay dry and wait it out. While I’m waiting things out I usually read stories that I find on Facebook or Twitter that other writers have shared. When I read a story I really like, I friend or follow the writer on social media and then I add the site the story came from onto the ever growing list. Then I go back to waiting for the truck that’s on its way. Maybe it’s out by Pittsburg? Maybe it’s near Philly? Pennsylvania is a big place and it’s never two hours no matter what they say. 

Waiting for A Truck 2

At ten am the truck was still not there so my boss called the plant management peep and said, “Yo, still no truck, where is the truck?” And the plant management peep said the truck was about an hour away in New Jersey now and just sit tight. More lies. At eleven o’clock the truck wasn’t there and so we all climbed in our pickup and played on our cellphones, watching Youtube videos or scrolling through Reddit, reading fan theories about Westworld, Game of Thrones, factoids about secret societies: hollow earth or flat earth;  playing Candy Crush, giggling at cat gifs … possibly maybe I’ll try squeezing in some time to write a story or a piece of a novel on my cellphone before my battery dies. At work, we play around on our cellphones even though cell phones are banned from the plant because of two reasons: 1) A spark from a cellphone or the static electricity generated by a device could somehow cause an explosion that could reduce the plant to a smoldering crater in the earth 2) Photographs are banned from inside the plant for security purposes and I guess, ya know, espionage or whatnot so because cellphones have cameras in them cell phones are also banned. At noon the truck still hadn’t showed up so we went to lunch. 

Cellphone Charger

Cellphones are banned from the plant. If you are caught with a cellphone out on a live unit, that is cause for immediate dismissal. There is a zero tolerance policy for cellphones in the plant. This is your one and only warning. Do not bring cellphones out into the plant. Cellphones are not permitted out of the contractor trailers where you will eat your lunch. Cellphones are not permitted in the work trucks. If you are caught using a cellphone anywhere other than your designated break trailer you will dragged out through the turnstiles and kicked in into the gravel parking lot where you will land in a heavy thud into the pile of broken plastic that I ripped off my car. Zero tolerance. We’re serious about safety here. We are serious about cellphones. No cellphones! But also! Check this out, today we are celebrating 1 million hours at the plant without a lost time injury. How amazing is that ladies and gentlemen? That is why when you walk through the turnstiles this morning you will be presented with a gift from the plant! Wanna guess what the gift is? You’re never gonna believe this. 

It’s a portable cellphone charger that you can use to charge your cellphone on the go. Like let’s say if for instance you are sitting in the work truck waiting for a delivery that is nowhere to be found and your cellphone is at (oh god!) 1%. No fucking problamo. Just plug your cellphone into the cellphone charger and charge your device up so you can keep playing around on your phone. 

Rejection 

My alarm clock is on my cellphone and in the morning I always reach over and grab it and stick it real close to my eyes. I’m half deaf and nearly blind without contacts or glasses and here I am morning after morning with the LED screen glowing bright in my eyes. I’m squinting and checking my email. I’m looking for a rejection notice from a place I sent a story. Most mornings that’s what I’m seeing. Get the rejection out of the way, get up, make a pot of coffee. Submit some more writing because jumping out the door at the last second, speeding to work like I’m driving the indie 500. 

Waiting For a Truck 3

Aerosmith is blasting in the work truck 

Steven Tyler whines: You’re my Annnnnngel, come and see me tonnnnight 

We’re cruising slow through the plant. Yeah. You can’t hit a moving target and this target is a pickup truck with six guys crammed in it and we are moving at 14.5 mph driving down random roads. It is two o’clock in the afternoon and we are leaving in an hour to go home. The plant management peep says the truck will be here in any minute now. Be ready. 

You’re my Annnnnngel, come and see me tonnnnight

Waiting for a Truck 4

At 3:30 we go home. The  truck never showed up. Your whole life you’re probably just waiting for a truck that will never show up, so in-between, you do whatever you can with your waking hours. We punch out and everyone begins their long crowded struggle of walking through the work parking lot. I only have to walk a few feet to my car because I am the safety hero of the month. I pick up some more pieces of my car that I ripped off the other day and I throw these pieces of my car away into the trash can that is half full with the other pieces of my car that I’ve smashed into there. I climb in my car and drive past my coworkers. I wave and say, “See ya tomorrow losers!” and they yell back, “Safety Suck Ass!” It’s fine though because in just a couple of weeks one of them will get the temporary parking spot and I’ll get to yell “Safety Suck Ass!” to them too. And If I’m lucky I’ll even get to see them rip the front of their car off in person. 

Acceptance 

Before I go to bed, I set my alarm but before I set my alarm I check my email one last time. And there it is, and the email I’ve been waiting for says, thanks for sending us your work if it’s still available blah blah blah, we’d like to feature it on our blah blah blah site. I don’t respond because that’s something to do to tomorrow. Find time tomorrow. I send my emails while I am waiting. And there’s always waiting to look forward to. And now I’m just trying to be sleeping. I put my head on the pillow, wait, wait, wait, for the odd little dream to come. 

Bud Smith

Wrote: F250, Tollbooth, Calm Face, Dust Bunny City, among others. Lives in Jersey City, NJ. Works heavy construction. www.budsmithwrites.com

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About The Author

Bud Smith

Wrote: F250, Tollbooth, Calm Face, Dust Bunny City, among others. Lives in Jersey City, NJ. Works heavy construction. www.budsmithwrites.com

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