Ice Breaking Work

Ice Breaking Work

It was 6 AM. No one was around other than commuting pedestrians. Having slept on the sidewalk, I prayed to my creator. I thought, “Good Lord, how can I be of service, today? How can I do something for someone, so that I can buy some food?”

I stood up, stretched well, and began to walk down the shady sidewalk. Its large trees over sixty years of age, the landscaping parallel to the sidewalk was nice.  I rounded the corner without paying too much attention.  I almost ran into a man but did not.  “Pardon,” I said. He was smoking a big fat cigar, stretching, looking at his watch, and possibly waiting for a ride.

“What are you in such a hurry for?” asked the man. “My name is Dan and I am looking for work,” I said. He looked impressive enough. The man sported four decked out golden rings on each hand; a Rolex, from the looks of his watch; and a semi-formal black suit with grey stripes.

“You seem young and strong,” said the man, “I am Mr. Dob Bones.” The man was nice enough to speak to me; I was nothing other than some man from the street. As he held out his hand, he dropped his cigar. I caught it. I handed him his cigar and shook his hand.

“Thank you,” he said, “I know this whole town. What kind of work are you looking for? Keep in mind, beggars cannot be choosers.” “I am no beggar, however I will do close to whatever you ask,” I said. I honestly wanted to survive. “What do you think about cleaning?” asked Mr. Bones. “I love to clean,” I said, as I agreed with myself. “I really do like cleaning, even remodeling,” I thought.

“Here is the address of an old building,” said Mr. Bones, as he quickly jotted an address on a business card,

“The back door is jammed, however I want you to get it open. Pry the door and prop it, so it will stay open. There is a push-broom in there; take it out and set it to the side. Remove every single thing you see from the building. This includes the broken desk, the chairs, and anything else you see. Pile everything into one large pile in the lot behind the building. Once you have formed this pile; sweep out the entire place with the push-broom. Let the dust set or blow away – do it again. I will see you by the door at 4 PM.”

I was impressed. Mr. Bones handed me the card and I said, “I will do it.” Just then, a black four-door sedan pulled up to the curb. Mr. Bones quickly got into the back of the car and it sped away. The address would not be too hard to find. I jogged four blocks and made a right turn, thinking I knew where I was. Sure enough, I saw the old building. The front was closed, probably, so I went to the back as instructed.

I found the door and was relieved. “Thank you,” I thought in my prayers. The huge metal door was jammed alright. I tried to open it by hand and it would not budge. I resorted to finding a pry-bar of some form from the ground; it lead to minor archaeology.

The lot was pretty tidy, and I saw nothing useful. Then, however, I discovered a half-buried shovel. I chipped away the hard, dry dirt with a fallen stick from a tree nearby, over and over. I used the shovel to pry the door open about one inch. The shovel was broken in half, however I used the dirty wooden handle to pry the door open further. Able to get my hands on it, I put my right foot on the building and forcefully pulled the door open.

The door opened, alright. It opened with a loud, creaking sound that echoed inside.  It must have been a partially barren building.  Rusty dust from the hinges blew into the gentle breeze.  I used the shovel to prop the door open, peered inside.  As Mr. Bones had stated, there were various items of sorts in the dimly sunlit building. I entered the old building and began removing objects.

As I removed the smaller items quickly, in order to work and develop a plan at the same time, I made the recommended pile out in the back lot. I found the wide broom and put it around the corner as suggested. I dragged the large desk to the door, broke a leg off it to get it outside, and put it on the pile. I worked nonstop bringing anything I could put my hands on onto the pile.

Judging by the sun, it was high noon. It looked as though I would finish the task; I would please this Mr. Bones. If nothing else, I would request a sandwich. I sat for a moment and caught my breath. I stood, stretched a little, and continued to work. I finished placing every last piece of debris onto the pile and swept the place out. I let the dust clear, swept it out again.

The place was cleaner, now. I could have called it, “Done,” however I went back inside for final touch-up sweeping. I swept the concrete floor well, and decided to take a small break. I went outside; the afternoon was nice. A spring day, I had enjoyed the physical exercise. I left the door open so any dust remaining could blow away. “Mr. Bones will be here any minute,” I thought, and I decided to condense the pile of debris.

As I was organizing the pile of debris, the black sedan pulled up slowly into the lot from beside the building. The car would have scared me, however the man seemed nice enough. Mr. Bones stepped out of the vehicle; the others stayed in the sedan. He took one look at the pile, grinned, and walked over to the back door. He peered inside, closed the door with a nice slam.  Mr. Bones said, “Great work young fellow.”

Mr. Bones reached into his pocket and pulled out a wad of cash. He counted out about four or five twenties, a five, some ones, and a hundred dollar bill. “This should keep you living,” said Mr. Bones, “Thank you for doing a fine job. Meet me at this address in the morning, well shaven and better dressed, and I will set up some work for you.” “Thank you, sir,” I said. We shook hands, and I put the money in my pocket. I would find a new outfit and clean myself; I would see him in the morning.  Mr. Bones got back into the back of the sedan, and the car drove away.

How happy was I? I was very happy, indeed. I made my way from the back lot thinking. I decided that working was not necessarily something I really like, however the small wad in my pocket allowed me to wonder if it was not the best thing ever.


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