Tag Archives: manual labor

The WORC Program – Part 25

By Joshua Ryan

The month or so before I was supposed to graduate, the tension was building. I was studying for final exams and also getting letters from colleges saying I was either in or out. I dealt with that stuff kind of in the background. Mainly I went around lookin at all the things in my life like, pretty soon, I’m never gonna see you again. My friends, my school, the house where I grew up — they were like, in the past already. My dad and my brother had been like that for quite a while, and they seemed to feel the same about me. I mean, they had this look like, “Are you still around?” I guess we were never a real close family.

I’d been dreading all these things that happen at the end of high school — like, proms and yearbooks and graduation ceremonies and so forth — but they were in the past too. I just did them. Although I didn’t go to the prom — none of the guys asked me! LOL! But I did put on the robes and march in the graduation ceremony. Of course I was thinking, these people think that WORKIES look like clowns!

Continue reading The WORC Program – Part 25

The WORC Program – Part 22

By Joshua Ryan

So OK, this is Lucky, and I get to talk!

Butch says that’s a dog’s name, and maybe he’s right! But I’m glad Mr. Hamilton chose it, because it’s the right name for me. If anybody’s lucky, I am. Just look at my boyfriend Butch! You think I’m not lucky?

Anyway, I’ve been here at Hamilton Farms for two years now, so this is a big fast forward, LOL! But it’s a good time to check into the story, for reasons I’m gonna explain. So yeah. But I wanta go back to the start. The start for me, anyhow.

It all started — me being lucky, I mean! — when I was in my senior year in high school. When you turn 18, I guess you start lookin around, tryin to figure out what you wanta do. I know what my dad wanted me to do. (I guess I should tell you, my mother’s dead. I can’t remember her much, actually. Too bad — maybe she was nice!) I was the one that was going to college. My brother Luke, he was the one that was gonna take over the business. I remember my dad sitting me down in private and telling me, “You know, Luke understands how to do this. He’s already doing it. So … I’m giving it to him. No hard feelings?”

“Course not, Dad. I didn’t want it anyway.”

I guess he didn’t like to hear that. But it was true.

Continue reading The WORC Program – Part 22

The WORC Program – Part 20

By Joshua Ryan

Spring went on. Out in the fields, it was beans, then onions, then back to beans, then three weeks digging a ditch to drain water off the level, featureless land. If you looked around, you’d believe the earth was flat after all. When I woke up in the night, I saw the long barred window at the top of the barn, and the cold stars shining behind it. Ace and Mack were rutting in the bunk ten feet away from me, but I didn’t notice it anymore. I didn’t even hear it.

Things did happen from time to time. Dax broke his arm on some machine in the canning factory and had to be taken to the vet. Who put him back in the coffle where he could keep whacking weeds, only with his other arm. One time it rained for six days and we couldn’t work, so there were a lotta fights. Even Ace got in a fight with a workie that made a joke about him. I can’t remember the joke, but I know the guy will never want to fight him again.

Continue reading The WORC Program – Part 20

The WORC Program – Part 09

By Joshua Ryan

The Haute Cuisine de Paris Select Tour … Mike had finally agreed to book it … I was lingering on a foggy street on the Ile Saint-Louis … Then from somewhere — some seventeenth century house? Some charming local church? — a bell was clanging. “Cmon,” Mack said. “Ain’t got all day.” He was already on his way to the shit holes, where a line had formed — a line of identical packages of rocklike muscles dressed in identical boxers and tees. A dream, and a nightmare.

I was one of the last to get to the holes, so I was glad I’d shat my guts out the night before, and all I needed to do was piss. I didn’t bother to line up for the sink. I went back to my bunk and started turning myself into the image of Mack, who had already dressed.

I can’t say they didn’t give us enough time. It was all hurry up and wait for our turn at the Chow Hall. While waiting, the workies shot the shit with each other, paying no attention to me. They weren’t interested anymore. I wasn’t new. I just stood by my bunk until Boss Web yelled, “Awright, make your line!” and we all marched off to the chow palace. Bill of fare: egg and cheese on bun, grits on the side. Hearty food! What you’d get in a fast food place, if the place was about to be closed by the health inspectors. Also a cup of coffee. No cream, no sugar, but the first coffee I’d had since I signed those papers. By the time I got through with it, I was so high that Ace came up beside me and said, “Coffee. It happened to me too. My first day. Watch your step. I don’t want you havin any accidents.”

Continue reading The WORC Program – Part 09

The WORC Program – Part 05

By Joshua Ryan

Needless to say, I was exhausted. I was glad that the next thing they did was to lock us back in our boxes and feed us another workie bar. I gobbled the awful thing down and fell asleep on my awful, horrible bunk.

But just because I was calling it a day didn’t mean that Boss Drum was. I don’t know when, because without any clocks or cell phones to look at I was losing track of time, but at some moment that was way too soon there was a bang on the door and a key turning in the lock, and I had to STEP OUT and LINE UP and STAND AT ATTENTION while Boss Drum introduced us to yet another workie who was appointed to order us around. This one was a young black guy, very precise in the way he talked, and he was there to “start you workies off on your on-the-job training for your future positions in life.” The name on his shirt was Grig, and our first on-the-job training was washing floors. “And I’m gonna go ahead right now and tell you about how to do that.”

Continue reading The WORC Program – Part 05

The WORC Program – Part 01

The WORC Program

By Joshua Ryan
Part 1

This is a story about adults, and for adults only.

It is also fiction. Any connection to real entities is purely coincidental.

 

OK, I admit it. I wasn’t a perfect boyfriend.

I guess I’d lost some interest. For one thing, Mike was 20 years older than me. Granted, he was in good condition. Nice face, nice eyes, nice hair, body still pretty much together—although I gotta say, he had about 15 pounds that he didn’t need. I’d been really interested in him at the start, and there was still something strong between us. I mean, it wasn’t like we NEVER had sex. In my way, I truly loved him.

And I knew I should be grateful to him. Mike had definitely done a lot for me. He’d put me through that last year of college, he’d got me a job afterwards, and he’d supported me totally when the job didn’t pan out. If he hadn’t paid off my debts after I quit that place, I don’t know what I would have done. I would’ve had to take some shit job, just to make ends meet. And like anybody could tell you, that wasn’t my style.

So obviously, Mike had money. Those investments of his had really paid off. Some guys have all the luck! So he could afford to bail me out that way. And I know, at his time of life, he enjoyed just having somebody staying around the house, looking nice for him when he got home.

I know he used to enjoy watching me napping by the pool, or just sitting in front of the mirror, making sure that my hair was right. It was all for him, really. A guy needs his boyfriend to take care of himself. And I wouldn’t have been half as hot if I’d had to go to some crummy office every day and miss my swim and my massage and my haircut and just worry every minute about paying my debts–when Mike had plenty of money to pay them anyway.

Continue reading The WORC Program – Part 01