Yet Another Excerpt
February 15, 2012 Leave a comment
A particularly polished piece of prose which I would prefer someone else to comment on, validate perhaps. (Translation: I’m a little buzzed, this seemed like a good idea)
From a prose thing I’m writing, trying to write, meh:
Deema’s work area was shared with one of the no-bullshit-black-women. Not to be confused with the no-bullshit Black Women, which probably really just means, no shit, this is an actual black person. No. Deema’s desk mate was a Sage. That worldly woman who’s children had grown up in the kind of poverty that the wages Deema knew very well provided to a family. Her daughter had gotten a meaningful education and was a respectable teacher in the backcountry parts of Delaware. She married well. In this yawning recession, her husband, in construction, had build them a house. More of a mansion when the NoBS brandished her cell phone (budget) and displayed documentary evidence of where they lived. And the no bullshit desk mate proudly lorded over these facts of progress, as well she should, Deema believed.
Between the waves of tedious, rote activity. Tedious, yes. Rote, yes. But the fact that this boring behavior meant the ultimate eviction of fellow citizens from homes because maybe somewhere in the past a bank had fucked them or maybe they’d gotten too greedy and over-invested. Who knows. It’s not always as obvious as a 7,000 dollar judgment for a vacant lot in bumfuck nowhere. Usually it’s a nameless, placeless home in a county you’ve only heard of. Only now and then it’s the zip code across the street back home, 500 miles away, and their kids maybe went to school with you. Or you saw them at the mall or the grocery store. Who knows. Every now and then the fact that you were bored doing something you could identify as morally fudgy would cause Deema to push back from her station and engage the NoBSBW in candid metaphysical ponderings.
Deema told her, one time, she remembered being just a kid with a shallow bucket full of North Carolina blue crabs. Deema went out with aunts and uncles on the Outer Banks and plucked crabs out of the surf at night on a family vacation in a four story villa stuffed with every aunt and uncle lined barracks style along every available wall. Once she learned how to pick crabs without getting pinched, it was pure harvest. She found a parable in what her drunk uncle had versed: you don’t have to worry about any stacking up and getting out, so long as on his own, no single crab can reach the top. What the crabs did, Deema saw, is try to stack and reach the lip of the bucket, an ordinary white plastic mixing bucket. If any got close, one below would snap it back and the crab would tumble into the sea of blue and white carapace at the center of the bucket. At the rims, the tide rose and reached slowly up before plunging back down into the middle. Slowly, the mass in the dark writhed and clacked, casting eerie shadows in the white bucket as an army of cousins with cheap flashlights in the Southern dark chased blue crabs out on the snoring surf.
This, Deema confided, was what it was like working in an office where more than three-quarters of the employees were women. We are paid less, statistically. We complain less, statistically. And when we do make demands, other crustaceans seize the opportunity to clasp the hem of our pants and tug us back, tossing us tumbling backwards into the writhing, angry, clacking mass of chattering women. The NoBSBW one-hundred percent agreed.