I have a new book out: Carmine Fin, Golden Road. It's a collection of poems from 2014-2016. Enjoy!
The Mirror of Heaven
The Mirror of Heaven
Carmine Fin, Golden Road
The guy came out to tighten my tires. Lug nuts or something. Tighten my nuts, dude. Any time. His jeans tapered off to biker boots, well-worn. Curly brown hair, brown eyes disdainful. I made some remark about the weather while I stood there, weak at the knees, admiring him. Clouds drifted.
Ronnie quit Fred’s Tire.
I saw him at Lowe’s today. He was telling me his life story.
Yeah. He said they made him pay for his own tools.
Are you freakin’ kidding me?
Nope. Like, if he broke a tool, he’d have to pay for a new one. He says to me, ‘You ever see those ads in the paper? Y’know, mechanic wanted, must have own tools?’
That means the mechanic can’t get hired unless he has all his own tools and if he breaks one, the garage won’t pay him for a replacement.
That’s wrong. Is that even legal?
I don’t know, but it has to come out outta his pocket. He told me: ‘There was this job on a BMW. A brake job, and I needed this one tool for the job and it cost seven hundred dollars. I would only use that freakin’ thing one time, and Dave’s like: you gotta buy it. So I made the damn thing in the shop. Took me four hours. I made Dave pay me for the time too.’ He was paying eight thousand a year for tools.
Yup. Eight thou.
He made a lotta money for that place and that’s how they treated him? Nice. Did he get another job?
Yeah, he’s working for Suit Kote.
Good for him.
He was glad he didn’t have to be there, with water running down his neck, his back. Said he was so seized up at the end of the day, in so much pain. Plus he had no retirement.”
Man, I had no idea.
He’s laid off now for the winter, so he called Dave, told him since he was laid off and it was the busy season for snow tires and all, that he’d be glad to come in and help out. Dave never got back to him.”
Ronnie said he hand-picked his replacement, but Dave doesn’t see it that way.
And now he’s having trouble with the wife.
Right? He made four hundred on a side job and right away she wanted TV for the bedroom and he was like: ‘TV for the bedroom? I’m never in the bedroom! I sleep on a freakin’ air mattress on the floor in the living room. And it’s cold on the damn floor, let me tell you, so I got the dog with me on the air mattress and the dog is going: ‘uh…uh…uh…!’ like that and I’m like: you better cut that shit out cuz next thing you know somebody’s gonna be in here with a video camera tryin’ to catch the action. So now the dog’s layin’ on the air mattress with all his feet straight up in the air… and then the cat comes in!’
So then he says to his wife: ‘honey, the mortgage is due on the first of the month and today’s the tenth and we haven’t paid it yet. Doncha’ think we should do that instead of buying a new TV and she tells him: ‘you could make more.’
Ouch. What does she do, sit on her ass all day?
‘ This winter’, he said, ‘ I’m gonna sit in my recliner next to the coal stove, and have a beer. Or some shine. And run the remote. At least I can run the remote.’ And when he can’t run the remote any more—
He’ll be dead.
That’s what he said.
©2015 Margaret Krashes
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