Saturday, September 06, 2003

It's Junior year, and I'm at the Du-Kum Inn with my friends, but we're old-timers, so we just call it the Du-Kum. It's a Friday night, so the place is packed, locals at the bar, liberal arts types at the table. I haven't seen our waitress for a while, and my glass is empty, so I head to the bar for another beer. I edge in sideways next to this guy wearing a black harley shirt and a ratty old baseball cap over his ratty hair. His beard reaches his chin, and the leading edge of his mustache is white with beer foam. Jeannie's busy at the other end of the bar, so I've got a little while to kill while I'm waiting for my refill. Why not be friendly?

"Hey."

"Hey. You a student?"

"Yep. What about you? What do you do?"

"Cabinetmaker."

"Really? Cool. It must be nice to be done at the end of the day and know you've really made something." This is obviously not my first refill of the evening. "I mean, I work all day, but it's just shit, and at the end of the day, what do I have to show for it? Nothing. Just words on a page. Must be nice working with your hands."

"Hmph. Yeah. Take a look at my hands." He holds them up. The fingers are all curled, the left hand more or less permanently shaped to fit a beer glass. The knuckles are swollen to twice the size of their fingers. "This is what working with your hands gets you. Kid, get a desk job."

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