I never want to look at another polyvinyl floor tile in my life. I have no idea what I’ve done to my wrist getting them up, but I hope I noticed in time not to go down another painhole now that my weird shoulder thing appears to be on the mend. This whole experience is giving me solid physical reminders that I’m neither as young as I used to be nor as young as I think I am. I feel like I’m disintegrating.

I wandered over the road to the bar in Theatre Deli to write this and wait out the rush hour, as has become my routine for the duration of this job. I’m covered in chips of wood and paper and dust and fiberglass and dead insects and ground up bone and pain and age and time and human skinflakes. Every bit of me is a gritty shade of grey. I’ve been rolling around on a sad floor. Tristan left at lunchtime so I’ve been on my own. My bones ache, my wrist in particular. The repeated impact of slamming my wrecking bar under a hard glued floor tile only for there to be another one immediately afterwards.

Pirates have been here today, loading up an articulated van with junk. They are a well named company that sends a crew of big burly people to take your stuff. They clear sets for the theatre industry. Their banter overheard is always amusing. They seem a little disaffected though. They were commenting today that this is more like a construction site than a theatre set. It really does feel that way but I knew what I was getting into. There’s a shitload of stuff here. And there are definitely too few of us to get it out. There is so much to be done and literally not enough time in the day. We either need an army on Monday and Tuesday or we need longer days.

The orc and the goblin are here. They’ve been making friends with the pirates all day and carrying stuff to the artic parked out front rather than doing work that only they can do, so I’ve been on my own all afternoon in the growing gloaming, pulling up floors. I know the orc by name now. He’s Ryan. I still like him, the big lazy galoot, despite how clumsy he was about my respirator. He’ll never know I like him because I’m an antisocial fucker when I want to be and I’m not going to be doing any banter when there’s so much work to be done. I’m such a fucking puritan when I choose to be. And right now I choose it. Too many people I love lost too much time, blood, sweat and tears in this building. I’m going to rip it up until it’s ripped. It’s the least I can do. The production manager is so sick they’ve gone back home to their parents. I know their parents and that home. It’s a good place to recharge. But this is what this building does to people. My migraine the other day? I’m an energy sponge. I suck in negativity, process it and convert it. This is hard work physically and spiritually. I’m glad to do it. I’ll be glad when it’s over.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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