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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hardscrabble landscape





Dave Freeman’s landscape crew met in Arlington Forest for a day of work. At the appropriate minute, the workers showed up and loaded themselves into the back of his stake-body truck. The poor laborers came from various backgrounds and seemingly every nationality.





Since the truck was filled with men, the two youngsters came along in my rig over to the jobsite. The job was in the middle of Arlington Forest, except that it was futuristic. Instead of landscaping, we were shifted over to work on a skyscraper. The work looked very dangerous. We were given the choice of working up very high in the sky, or else below in the earth, way down where steel beams connected mantle.





While awaiting Dave’s truck, two shirtless men and I started running very athletically along the street –back and forth up the cobblestone hills. One of us stopped to sip a tiny amount of wine and beer, magically combining the drinks with two small canisters. This was baffling. The man (an earlier me?) drank – then spiked the glass against a brick wall, before continuing on his almighty jog.





A wino there became very angry with himself. He didn’t realize the offer he turned down, which the athletic man had made to give him a ride had been a true one. We all ran some more, then suddenly the area opened very wide into the diplomatic area of D.C. -centered by the Brickskeller bar.


I thought to offer the men that they might like to stop in sometime for a drink there after work. What is more, I wasn’t sure if I was capable of holding up at this hardscrabble job beyond the next hour.

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