Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer repeats:

"It's Adolf Hitler and his faithful West Indian companion!"
---
"I'm just flabbergasted by the antiquity of this shit"
"What?"
---
"I want to talk to you for a minute. I just want to say that D. sent me up here as the site supervisor. D[2] is still here, he's not going anywhere, but that wasn't his job anyway. But I want you to know that I'm the one who's going to be running this job now, and I'm the one to talk to if you have any questions. It's down to the wire, but it's a job and we're all here for the same reason: to get this job done and get our money and get out. And that's what we're going to do. Now if... [this goes on for a bit]
...Any questions?"
" Yes I have one...
"Are you a faggot?"
Everyone's running for the door trying not to fall on their faces. No one can tell if W. is serious or not. His brow is furrowed and he's staring intently at our new foreman, who has become flustered. He was trying put the bridle on the horse and the horse is not so much resisting as responding with incredulity. He calls us back and no one goes, so after beginning "what do you want me to be?" he cops out and proclaims his heterosexuality in no uncertain terms, and continues to do so loudly for the next 5 minutes. After a while I see W. back on the ladder with his assistant, and he's laughing.

2

"Yella!... Yella!"
"You're a spic!"
"Yo! my sister's Jordanian."
---
"I'm from Austria, motherfucker!. I'm from Graz! Arnold Schwarzenegger's hometown!"
"No wonder you sound like a Guinea."
"Yeah! We're right on the fuckin' border"
---
"Edenbaum"
"A good Irish name."
"Nazi"
...
"You're alright for a Jew!"
---
"What's the difference between a nigger and a pizza?"
"There's a black man in the room!"
"I don't care! What's the difference between a nigger and a fucking pizza?
"I don't know."
"A pizza can feed a family of four!"
[The black man looks at the ground shakes his head slowly and laughs]
---
"How many languages do you speak?"
"I can say "pussy" in 12 languages!"
---
Flipping open a cell phone to show a photograph.
"She's hot"
Where's she from?"
"Russia. Buying her first Range Rover next week!"
"Damn"
What's she do?"
"Real estate.
"Money."
"Why d'you think I'm with the bitch!?"
"So why's she with you!?"
...
"How old is she?"
"23" [he's 27]
---
"I saw Maurice- we went to the same Church- and I asked him, which way are you taking us? People are worried. And he says, we are a small country, a poor country; all we have is agriculture, but we need to modernize. We need to build infrastructure and to expand trade. We need education. We can learn from both sides..."
[Maurice is Maurice Bishop.]

I still have nightmares about the Jamaican killer trying to say "tuchus."
"Tukush!"
---

The unsmiling Russian who runs the freight in the afternoons turns back to us as he closes the door.
"Whites out the front, Niggers to the basement."
I'm in the elevator with the electricians: two Puerto Ricans and a Pole.
"So how do you get out?"
The Russian pauses.
"I'm Superman, I leave from the roof"
In the basement he shakes hands with each of us before we walk towards the steps up to the street.
---

3

Talking to a kid on the job, a Jamaican from the slums of Kingston -Tivoli Gardens- with eyes that turn in an instant from innocent to icy. Listening to him talk about the adventures of his youth, of guns and gangs and the politics of Jamaica, I make a guess:
"Seaga"
"Yah. I was a Seaga Boy!" He laughs.
Still proud.

4

You're from the north?
How'd ya know?
I'm learning to recognize the accents
Ah, they all sound the same.
Por-ta-DYNE!
---
Have ya seen Paddy?
I'm Paddy.
The guy your working with
W're both Paddy!
---
Fuck! Where's Paddy?
Runnin 'round like an extra cock at a whore's wedding!
---
He went to meet a taper. He's bring'n her back after lunch
A female taper?
She better be pretty.
She better be good.
He says she's real good.
---
Did you get your wish.
Oh yeah. Jayzuz! She's six foot tall!
[She's Jamaican]
---
[The Mexican laborer walking around singing U2]
Hello! Hello!
---
See you tomorrow.
Nope. I'm gone.
Nice to meet you. See you again.
With the help of God, and a couple policemen.

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