Monday, December 15, 2008


in my job as a valet parking attendant
at some timeshare company’s corporate headquarters
the work entailed doing just about nothing
and doing that for 8 or 10 hour stretches
we had this little stand that we leaned on
or walked circles around
I say ‘we’ because the company didn’t just want one valet
standing there doing nothing
they wanted two or three
occasionally one of us would say,
“hey, I’m gonna take a walk around the building,”
or “hey, I’m gonna go hit the shitter.”
we did anything to pass the time
there was this other valet named Johnny
he was a cool cat
a twenty year old Salvadoran gangbanger
who raced streetcars and rapped
and had a kid on the way with his 17 year old girlfriend
he’d tell me stories about getting shot
or stealing cars
that sorta thing
he’d done a lot and seen a lot
and I liked that about him
but then there was this other valet named Jason
he hadn’t done much or seen much
and he didn’t speak much, either
but when he did it was usually a drag
one day he came up to us
and interrupted one of Johnny’s stories to say,
“hey, you guys ever heard of a warrant?”
“yeah, Jason,” said Johnny. “we heard of a warrant.”
“no, no. A war ant. A war ant! Get it?”
“sure, Jason. A war ant. We get it.”
He piped down and Johnny went on with his story
it was about a bar fight
where he’d smashed a beer bottle over some guy’s face
afterwards we stood around for a while in silence
rocking back and forth on our feet
checking the time every few minutes
anything to pass the time
I thought Johnny might get a kick out of a story I had
me and a friend running from the police in Guatemala
so I started to tell it
not far in Jason came back up to us
“hey, guys. What I meant before was war – rant. War – rant, get it?”
we looked at each other
and then back to him and we both said,
“yeah, Jason. We get it.”
I was about to go back into the story I was telling
but instead I turned to Johnny and said,
“hey, I’m gonna take a walk around the building.”
and that was it
that was how the days passed by
and in the nights I drank the wine
did some writing and looked for another job

No comments: