My first job

The job was as a crew member with the most famous fast food store.

I was told to meet the truck, unpack it

And load the cool room and freezer with every goddamned box in the universe.

I was a school kid, frightened by everything

and the managers were either 20-year-old stoners

or 20-year-old assholes.

I began to load the boxes; it was easy at first, they went on the shelves

then the shelves filled

and I started to load them on the floor,

piling them on top of each other like bricks.

But they weren’t bricks and as they became taller than me

The corner of some low down box would crumble, then they’d fall.

I remember standing in that cold room, half frozen, laughing at the boxes of

French fries and hamburgers collapsing.

I watched my white breath disappear into the spinning fans

The noise killing me.

Then something snapped within me, and I began to push the boxes into each other, forcing them onto each other, throwing them in

The place piled up with boxes in no order,


Some split

open with the inside bags spilling out.

I didn’t care.

Someone had ordered too much

I went out and collected the trolley, to bring in the last boxes.

The trolley caught my corduroy jacket and tore it.

I had bought that jacket in California.

When I was finished, the cool room looked like a massacre, and I could hardly close the door.


The next day I came back to work

This nice guy named Duc, one of my best friends

Told me the stoner assistant manager we all liked had been yelled at

By the asshole boss and I felt bad.

I hated the place and I wanted to be fired

But I also felt bad.

I spent two hours fixing that cool room up.


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