Posted on August 31, 2013 by Patricia Ann McNair8.31.2013 Journal Prompt August 31, 2013: He loved his work. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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He loves his work. That’s Pete’s big boast. Like the rest of us is somethin less than him and we should follow us hearts and reach for us dreams like he done. He loves every darned bit of it, he says. But I has learned never to listen to a man’s loudest words if you wants to know the truth.
I hears Pete some days and he’s cussin agin a bolt that won’t shift or a gasket that just keeps on leakin oil and he’ll have to fix a new one and that’s money outta his pocket. And when the figures in his books is all kicking and dancing and moving away from him, I hears him cussin then too. And when there’s nothin movin on the lot and he has to lower his prices just to bring a body in, there’s no love in that even though he pretends to smile. So when he says he loves his work, I knows it ain’t exactly the work that he’s speakin of.
You see, you gotta look at the whole man when he says somethin. You gotta look at his eyes and the hunch of his shoulders and the things that his hands does when he’s speakin. And you gotta know the man, too, the whole kit and caboodle of a man’s life.
Pete, he’s been married now for five years and a kid for every one of them years, like steps when they stand in a line, them as can stand, and all lookin like Pete with them sharp blue eyes and theys hair all blonde and stickin up anyhow. And I feels real sorry for his wife, Lizabeth. She was somethin pretty back when we was in school and I’da given anything just for a kiss from Lizabeth then; now she is old before her days and everythin saggin and her voice cracked and sharp as broke glass.
So when Pete says as how he loves his work, that ain’t the whole thing. You can see it in his eyes when he says it. There’s a shadow there, like he’s doin wrong, like it’s a lie what he’s braggin of. And he lowers his head instead of standin tall and proud of bein the only man in town what loves work, and that says more than his words is sayin. And he clenches and unclenches his fingers, so they is fists and then not fists.
And there’s more to that lovin he keeps talkin of, and the whole town knows that secret, and maybe Lizabeth does knows, too. There’s Maggie, see, and she’s just Pete’s secretary, and times bein what they is, he shoulda let her go by now, only that’s what he loves when he says he loves his work. And when they shuts up for lunch, he slips his hand under Maggie’s blouse and he says her name in hot breathless whispers and he says how he loves her, truly madly deeply. And if we is getting right to the truth of everythin, it ain’t really love, cos he’ll never leave Lizabeth. It’s more to do with his cock and Maggie bein pretty and talkin sweet and it rubs him the right way.
And Maggie? Well, she’s a lot smarter than even Pete reckons she is. She don’t let him do more than touchin and kissin and she keeps him just close enough and no closer. And when he’s not lookin, well then her hand is dippin in the till and takin small bills so the books can’t never be straight. And Maggie says she loves her work, too, and she means something else entirely.