We pass the road I used to take to the auto plant when things was good and I smell the burnin smell a the torches and I can hear the sizzle and whirring noises. See that fat face a the woman took my sandwiches out the fridge sometimes and pretended she don't know better cause she deaf. This old guy used to drive the lift and sometimes he give me money for the vendin machine if I don't bring a lunch. His name was Fen. One day he hit a stack a pallets that fell on the Mexican boy and after he pulled himself out they wanted to send him to a hospital but he said he was okay and went home and didn't come back. Can't remember his name.
I figure I'll think about all the people I know now because when I go in it'll all be new people I plan to forget and the only ones I'll want to remember inside is the ones I knew outside. I don't know what other people do when they go inside the first time because I only know my dad who went in and he don't tell no one bout it but that he wasn't goin back. Every time he come around he say that and I hear from my uncle every time he go back in.
It's a little while till we come out from the dark a the overpasses and dirty brick buildings and start seeing houses with little overgrown yards. Looks like where me and ma lived fore dad left the first time. All these places look the same- don't matter what part a town you in. We're bout a mile west a where I grew up and I see a hundred places remind me my neighborhood. Bet there's even a house looks just like ours out here and maybe a kid looks like I looked like when I was ten. Maybe he has a sister and they at each other all day and his mom sprays them with a hose when it's hot out and takes them to the park when she too sick to work. Maybe he makes good choices.
You get this far out you start seein houses mixed in with the places people work. Like the place a while back, me, Ray, Mike, and Dee used to take my uncle's car to the lumber yard near Ray's place with some whiskey and talk bout what ways we would spend our millions when we get famous. That's where Dee and I was foolin around and we had ta get a bus home cause Ray found out what his sister and I been doin and went home without us. We kept goin there till Mike got beat up and his ma wouldn't let him go out with us anymore. We didn't wanna go out there anymore anyway cause we din't want to after what happen.
The yards get bigger and the houses get farther apart till the yards turn to corn and there are no more houses. When I was little granddad took me for a summer on a farm where he worked while ma was in Ohio with my uncle. They had a horse they let me ride on the weekends: round the little yard with granddad holding the reins and not too fast. There was a dirt path where the horse paced back and forth and shook his head like he nervous. Eats crab apples I throw when granddad wasn't lookin. Rain came they brought the horse in the barn. It smelled like mold and hay in there and I would sit with the horse and we stare at each other until granddad get done bailin and we go home for the day. There was corn on that farm too. Me and granddad peeled the hairs and wrappers off the corn and he tells me bout living in places where it don't snow.
We stop at a intersection and there's people on the side the road in vests pickin trash and they stare at us. I don't look away. They don't know me. I'm already here. So they look away so they can forget they saw me when they go home.
I'll bet I could be a farmer. When I get out it's where I'll go because ain't no one cares bout what you done so long as you work. That's what granddad told me last day, when he was done tyin bails and he was sittin chewin and waitin for ma. He gave me a horseshoe he found in the yard and told me don't do like my daddy done. I brought the horseshoe home but I musta lost it.