Tuesday, January 09, 2007

family myth

It isn’t a myth. It’s really how it happened. I stood on the machine shop floor and listened to the super tell us that there was no more work. They were closing, for the summer, possibly forever, but most certainly for the summer and we could check back in the fall to see if there would be more work. But for now, we were to clear out our tools and go home. America, the dream, ock. I started packing it all up, just like every night and then again, not like every night because this time, I wouldn’t be back in the morning. I walked home to Else who was standing in the doorway waiting for me. She knew but she was waiting for me. But to open my mouth would be to let too much out. I nodded at her and took my tools to the shed. I was longer with the tools today, wiping each one down before putting it away. It would be some time before I would handle them again. Else didn’t follow me into the tool shed, she waited for me in the kitchen. Perhaps she had seen in my nod that I didn’t want company. When the last tool was away I stepped back from the shelves and looked them over. Was there work somewhere else? Another city, another state, back in Germany? But no, that wasn’t the way of it. There wasn’t work anywhere. I left the shed, locking it, and came to the back steps, carefully wiping my feet before walking into Else’s kitchen. I stood inside the doorway watching her as she stirred the soup. She brought it to the table and we sat. I dipped my spoon into my bowl of soup and held it near the opposite rim letting it cool.
“It’s for the summer, we can either lose the house or the car.” Else nodded looking around her kitchen. “I’ve decided it’s to be the house.” I said. She looked up at me, her eyes wide with the surprise of it. “We’ll keep the car.” I said. “There’s freedom with the car. We can go.” I paused and then finished, “if need be.”

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