Thursday, September 16, 2010


we were teenagers
in high school
and it was the wintertime
in New Hampshire

two days a week
as the sun set over fields covered
with snow
my friend and I would drive
back roads to Tilton
where we worked as packers
at a veggie burger manufacturing plant

our first order of business
was to unfold the boxes in which they were
to be packaged in
and glue the tabs of one end together
with piping hot glue
on which we often burned
our hands

then, after the burgers came out
from the kitchen
and cooled
our task was to set two
side by side
place a sheet of wax paper on top
set another two burgers
side by side on top of them
then shove the four into the cardboard boxes
and seal the second end with glue

this was our job
and that was our life
from 5 to 10 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays

to make the job more terrible
there was a CD player with a radio
which didn’t work
and there were only two CDs from which
to choose: Neil Young’s Harvest Moon
and some other classic rock album
which I cannot remember
even though I probably listened to it
hundreds of times

as the winter went on
and we got more sick and tired
of our job
packaging burgers
burning our fingers on the glue
listening to the same two cds
over and over again
making five bucks an hour
and having to beg to actually get paid
we lost interest in remaining good employees
and started in with adolescent shenanigans

soon there were burgers being tossed around
arguments with other employees
and to amuse ourselves
we’d write swears with the glue
before closing up the tabs on the package
so you might open either side
of the box
to find FUCK U or SHIT or BITCH or CUNT
or occasionally a small, messy ASSHOLE

not long after
we began showing up late
we stopped showing up at all

I mean
we were teenagers
in high school
and it was the wintertime
in New Hampshire

what more could a person expect?

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