Parts of the grass have been dug up by whatever tires the door belonged to. Some drunk kid, entitled as fuck I’d say, drink, drive and donuts. Either way the van city government are charging him for the repair work. We start at picking the tread marks, Andore asks if we’d be better off using the Stripper. Lucas doesn’t respond. Politely he asks again. No reply. I smile at the new guy and throw eyes to the skies.
“The community asked us to do this slow, charge by the hour” Lucas says “teach the little piglet a lesson.”
He stands by the car door and lights a fag. He doesn’t lift a pick. Sweat beads and rolls over my brows, stinging my eyes. I drop the pick and walk to the truck to get some water, I screw the top off and down some.
“Who said you could have a break?!” Lucas shouts.
“Thought you wanted to do it slow.” I yell back.
Birdman stops picking and looks at me, biting his bottom lip to stop the laughter. Andore looks to Lucas, Remy keeps at the job. Lucas walks over to me carrying his bulk with clenched fists to the side. He stops a foot from me and stares, he grabs the water bottle from me and unscrews the top slowly. He begins drinking, water streaming down his heavy jowls. He keeps his eyes on me, head slanted until every drop is gone. He screws the top back on, hands me the bottle and glares.
“Back to work” he says.
I go back to work.
My arms start burning, heat rising off my biceps. Everything starts to hurt. Whenever I try to stop for a breath Lucas eyes me. Cumbersome isn’t the word at all. Lucky to get through ten inches in ten minutes. I start to see shapes in the ruffled dirt, people wrapped around one another, faces. Sweat dripping into tiny puddles beneath me, my breath heavy. I start to think about my childhood, ice cream lining my knuckles, da giving me maths grinds. He used to put me on his back in the pool before I could swim, holding on in the deep end. Floating. A cool breeze shushes somewhere behind my eyes. I feel the pick axe in my hand, my fingers calloused on the wood. An extension. I breathe in the leaves, the trees, the mark of the treads. Something is about to happen, I’m about to lift off the ground or be sucked into it and then Lucas shouts fifteen minutes and it’s break and I snap out. All the way out. Lucas walks to his truck, he never eats with us.
“You doing okay Irish?” Birdman asks.
“What’s the deal with Lucas?”
“He’s got a mood thing, don’t take it personally. He feels worse about that then you do.”
“You should have seen him before he kicked the drink.” Andore says.
“He was a fucking demon.”
Someone asks Remy what he did back in Montreal and to be fair the chap gives us the best answer ever. A Pedobaiter.
“What the fuck is that?” I ask.
“I would set up fake facebooks” his French Canadian accent is weak now “be a fifteen year old boy or whatever. Get them to say some weird shit and then tell them to put a grand in my account or I’d send all the shit they said to me to their families.”
No one says a thing.
“Snagged a cop by mistake, had to get out of Montreal.”
The door on the truck opens, fifteen minutes isn’t a lot. He walks towards us. His torn dungarees caught in a mild breeze. We walk towards the pick axes, horizontal beside the treads. Lucas hands me a water bottle as I walk and nods. There is something terribly desperate in the way he looks at me, like a dog that shit the bed. Thanks I say and drink. He walks away before I can hand him the bottle.
It’s mine now.