Cultural Institution Blesok • Established 1998
New in Blesok

the art is inside

ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 46 | volume IX | January-February, 2006



[размена]



SLOVOKULT.DE
KRUG
BALKANI
OKF







                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 46January-February, 2006
Prose

The Road to Los Angeles

(excerpt from the novel)


/3
p. 1
John Fante

One

I had a lot of jobs in Los Angeles Harbor because our family was poor and my father was dead. My first job was ditchdigging a short time after I graduated from high school. Every night I couldn't sleep from the pain in my back. We were digging an excavation in an empty lot, there wasn't any shade, the sun came straight from a cloudless sky, and I was down in that hole digging with two huskies who dug with a love for it, always laughing and telling jokes, laughing and smoking bitter tobacco.
    I started with a fury and they laughed and said I'd learn a thing or two after a while. Then the pick and shovel got heavy. I sucked broken blisters and hated those men. One noon I was tired and sat down and looked at my hands. I said to myself, why don't you quit this job before it kills you?
    I got up and speared my shovel into the ground.
    “Boys,” I said. “I'm through. I've decided to accept a job with the Harbor Commission.”
    Next I was a dishwasher. Every day I looked out a hole of a window, and through it I saw heaps of garbage day after day, with flies droning, and I was like a housewife over a pile of dishes, my hands revolting when I looked down at them swimming like dead fish in the bluish water. The fat cook was the boss. He banged pans and made me work. It made me happy when a fly landed on his big cheek and refused to leave. I had that job four weeks. Arturo, I said, the future of this job is very limited; why don't you quit tonight? Why don't you tell that cook to screw himself?
    I couldn't wait until night. In the middle of that August afternoon, with a mountain of unwashed dishes before me, I took off my apron. I had to smile.
    “What's funny?” the cook said.
    “I'm through. Finished. That's what's funny.”
    I went out the back door, a bell tinkling. He stood scratching his head in the midst of garbage and dirty dishes. When I thought of all those dishes I laughed, it always seemed so funny.
    I became a flunkie on a truck. All we did was move boxes of toilet tissue from the warehouse to the harbor grocery stores in San Pedro and Wilmington. Big boxes, three feet square and weighing






"Blesok" editions 01-93 are also available at CEEOL web site.

By purchasing our titles, you are directly supporting our activities. Thank you!



50%


FOLLOW US:
Visit us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+