Sunday, October 7, 2012

I'm Fine. How Are You?

Many mysteries were revealed in my first day at work. It's like all the practical projects I've been involved in for the last few years have culminated in making me custom fit for a job in hydro-fracturing and gas recovery. How did that work out? Because I'm an assembly fiend who also likes standardized installations. But philosophically I'm torn. I like difficult jobs where I can think about other things and in a few weeks this will be one of them.

It is sort of like being an astronaut because if you break down the duties of an astronaut then it's basically.
Step 1) Hold on for dear life.
Step 2) check instruments
Step 3) move a toggle switch back and forth
Step 4) walk around on moon
Step 5) Aim For Earth

I mean, really, does that sound so hard?
And in a similar fashion I was inches from a Hydrogen Sulfide vent that could explode at any time spewing deadly gas but I'm wearing an air tight respirator so I could hear my own erratic breathing. Flying banshee demons could erupt and I would be safe. And did I mention that I was on a steel gangplank 50 ft in the air? On top of the oil well canisters? But my mission was basically a straight-forward assembly of 5 wires in small holes. But the sun was directly in my face and actually reflecting off the metal actuator body into my eyes and the plexiglass mask of the respirator was scratched like a  cocktail Mrs. Pac Man video game  top at Pizza Hut so it was like trying to read a small menu through a thick fog haze in a blinding sun...while being inches from death and in the middle of nowhere. There aren't many times in my life when I focus on my immediate task but that was one of them. I was in the moment like a zen fucking master. I guess if you are indifferent to life and circumstances then this job is "easy" but I like to say it is straight-forward. Like being an astronaut.


The "common sense" platitudes have been thrown around and I've already voiced my disdain for those.

Common sense would suggest we just leave the fucking hydrogen sulfide gas where it belongs 5 miles under the earth's crust. But no, we must have our energy so after 200 years of research and development now common sense means making sure no wires are crushed when you bolt closed the actuator body halves. Sure. That's common sense.

It's like saying, "When you are drunk and driving 120 mph in congested traffic on the sidewalk and trying to finger fuck your girlfriend you should obviously try to stimulate the most sensitive areas of her vagina. That is just common sense!" What the fuck? back up. you are drunk, and driving 120 mph...and it's heavy traffic on the sidewalk. and you are still trying to finger fuck your girlfriend? And you think that common sense applies to how you fuck her? Are you stupid?
That's how I feel but I'm pretty much the only one who thinks like that so I'll keep my mouth shut.

We're flying faster than our angels out here and no one cares. I rode my moped to town looking for tools (the van's transmission is in dire need of attention) and was immediately flat on my ass in a gravel ditch as a huge truck rolled past me at 90 mph carrying fuel. I only crashed my moped once before riding rocky motorcross trails after drinking white russians...and it was "common sense" that when you are drunk and riding a 1974 vespa ciao through a 1' deep lake that you should try to keep the throttle wide open so you don't bog down in the mud. Yeah. That's common sense. Common sense just suggests I don't ride the moped around the highways anymore.

But I'll tell you that my status as a mechanic was no less dangerous and provided no security or recompense.

I'll abide by the lexicon of the region but I won't adopt it.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.