A Job of Work
by Salvatore Difalco
Part of my responsibilities included watching over the people in hibernation. Checking gauges, testing the surface tension of the Plexiglass housing, monitoring moisture and so on. I had been fully trained for the job over the course of two weeks, and I took it seriously, but the hours were long and my chronic marijuana consumption tended to make me a little—sometimes more so—scatterbrained. I’ve argued the opposite for most of my consuming life—that is to say, marijuana is relatively benign. But the truth, a serious dog, barks otherwise. So, needless to say, I lost focus more often than not, though to be honest the likelihood of things going wrong amounted to slightly more than nonzero. I mean, with modern technology we can accomplish feats only dreamt of as recently as a decade ago. And as pernicious and repugnant as the idea of living forever may strike some of us—it could only get fucking boring, man—a few with the faculty of severe fantasy and unlimited resources can dream as they shut their eyes and we cover them with silver dollars. Actually, silver dollars never happened. The disks covering the hibernating eyes—for this was not merely cryogenics masking as such—were composed of a titanium-depleted-uranium alloy, ha, it sounds good. But actually, I held no knowledge whatsoever about the disks. And they could have been silver dollars for all I cared. But I am beating around the bush admittedly. Being resigned to the role of a miniaturist, but one with an impulse toward largesse, necessitates no small amount of self-censorship. I could never say everything I wanted to say, or rather I could, I was able, but lacked the license to do so. An alarm rang and I must admit I went into a paranoid flat-spin and forgot all of my training. It reminded me of the time I was the operator of the Spanish Aero Car in Niagara Falls. One day it stalled over the Whirlpool and, as baked as I was, I panicked and forgot all my training. We had to call the fire department to retrieve the Aero Car and rescue its horrified passengers. Needless to say, I was fired. And they’ve since changed the name of the Spanish Aero Car to the Whirlpool Aero Car, no idea why.
Sicilian Canadian poet and author Salvatore Difalco lives in Toronto.