Thursday, November 18, 2010

Charlie, the Crane Operator

Charlie, the crane operator, had two choices: the swinging metal ball, or the claw. Now, the claw is, of course, the more conservative choice considering the size of the job - a small brick home next for the site of the new office complex. Charlie figured he could get the job done in one day with the claw. The claw kept things neat and tidy, and there was a sense of control when you used the claw; it is a methodical tool.

But yesterday, Charlie's son came home from school with red eyes, scratched knuckles and a torn shirt. Ever since Vivian passed last summer, Junior has been very angry. Vivian had been sick since he was eight, but losing a mother at twelve can leave a young man, who is on the verge of manhood, feeling helpless and powerless. Charlie understood why his son was angry, but knew not what to do. He, too, felt helpless, powerless.

Charlie attached the swinging metal ball to the crane and began swinging at the helpless, powerless brick structure. The first swing crashed through the corner of the first floor and the second floor came crumbling down on top of it; only the chimney left standing. Charlie brought the ball back for a second swing as tears began to fill his eyes and his chest began to heave. He began to scream. The ball sailed toward the chimney and collided with the stack, sending bricks in all directions.

by Christopher M. Bohan

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