Friday, July 14, 2006
My first job ever was running auction tickets in a stockyards-slaughterhouse in Mineral Wells, Texas. I ran from the auction spot to the office through pig pens and whatnot. I got paid an enormous sum (four dollars an hour, to be raised to five -- this was when I was fifteen in 1984) for a fairly grueling Saturday -- depending on how many cows and horses were there, the day could be very long. I lived close enough to the stockyards to smell the livestock on Friday, a depressing smell to me because I hated the work and wished for short days and the livestock coming in made me nervous. I didn't get much in the way of breaks and wouldn't have taken them anyway -- my work ethic was such that I had an almost masochistic love of getting the job done, and I did not want to get behind. My mother was fond of telling me I'd make a great communist.
I don't like animals -- all my friends and family do and they think this is a flaw, like a cleft-palate or a missing finger. Nonethless, I didn't like seeing the animals go to their deaths, and worse, the boys and men who worked the fences were a rough bunch one best not tangle with too much. One day one of the men got gored to death by a bull. I witnessed the event from a slight distance and saw Careflight come and take him away. I always thought before that if you got into an accident, you could be saved if help came fast enough. But if something punctures your heart in the exact right place, there's nothing to be done.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"A good day. The mound in the road was not cat, but tread." Amy Hempel, "Tumble Home"
one shot of peppermint schnapps
one shot of Godiva chocolate liqueur
Serve chilled and garnished with shaved chocolate
Benedictions and Maledictions
Here's the Medusa picture from the Halloween party, as requested!