The Orton Consideration
Under some circumstances Orton would sleep. under some
circumstances he would laugh, but mostly he was depressed. He looked up
at the sky. It was 4 in the morning, there were stars and a moon. He
looked down at the street. Gum blobs and cracks. After the window wash
he got started with the gutters. Trowel flip
hose, trowel flip hose. There was a boss called Manny. He was
psychotic. Working nights was dumbshit stuff. Windows before gutters
was dumbshit stuff. "Manny is dumb shit stuff." he thought as mud from
the gutters splashed onto the clean windows.
Under some circumstances Orton's shirt got extremely heavy. The weight
of the little logo on his pocket "Camden house maintenance" grew
enormous. He would slouch and stagger under the load.
Before this orton had had 93 jobs. Warehouse work mostly. He could
really shrikwrap! and some frying. He liked that. But now he was eating
Manny's stupid will all night. Except when manny skipped off to the all
night diner for a few hours. Then he'd sleep.Those were the
circumstances Orton liked best.
Today orton had pizza. In big boxes in the back of his car. A 20 year
old Toyota Corolla with bad brakes. The pizza smelled like baked vomit
He was rushing to the addresses on the clipboard next to him as he
"Pizzas here!" he'd hear people call out when he knocked. He liked that.
Being a rushed driver was unwise. Mr Calemby his instructor had taught
him that years ago. Mr Marsh the pizza boss said that was dumbshit
stuff. You had to move.
Orton tried to not rush and move.
zoom glide zoom glide.
Stop, take box out of insulating sleeve, deliver, collect.return.Again.
Under certain circumstances Orton would hang with Lenny. they would sit
under the staircase behind the pizza parlour and listen to am radio.
Lenny washed dishes and worked the hot oven. His face was red like
Lenny took red pills. It made him nervous and he believed the health
inspector was on the way to bust them. Orton thought Lenny worried
because he was a pig. Pigs don't get along with health inspectors.
Orton got another call and he didnt rush but moved. Zoom glide, zoom
Today Orton was gathering wool at the sheep farm.
"It isn't a farm it's a factory.." he said to nobody as he started
Grab pull stuff, grab pull stuff.Just like they'd showed him in the
Every once in a while all his stuff bags would be full and he'd ring
the little bell for the cart to come and get them.
Sometimes he'd try and think ahead,like ring the little bell when there
was still a stuff bag to go, but once, the cart showed up too early and
the driver Kurt, had to wait.
"Ya got ahead of myself!" Orton had to say.It seemed like the building
went silent and everyone was looking at him.
Orton wondered why the boss was ok with the cart taking 2 or 3 minutes
to arrive and pick up the bags while he stood idle but it was a huge
crime to keep the cart waiting for even 30 seconds…
"Because Kurt is dumbshit stuff"
"dumbshit stuff" he mumbled under his breath.
Under certain circumstances Orton would stuff wool bags.
Otherwise he liked to fry. Burgers, chicken he didn't care.
He just liked the sizzle.
Orton piled the mortar on the trowel.Grabbed a brick.
"Splotch!" he dropped a cow patty's worth of mortar on the wall.That's
what mr Kremlin the boss had said when he showed him the job.. "A cow
patty's worth of mortar".
Under certain circumstances Orton was a mason, splotching cow patties
of mortar for a living, but mostly he liked to fry.
It didn't matter. Orton lived to saturate. Grease was his grease.
On the day in question Naomi Pearson was hanging her laundry in the
yard next door from where he was building the brick patio. Orton knew
her from high school, famous for her breast size. He dropped the bucket
of mortar and spilled it all over the new patio. Mr.Kremlin freaked
out. She looked his way and giggled. "That job was dumbshit stuff
In the dark of night Orton was doing tilework. Not the big tiles, that
had been easy. This part was the little squares about 2 inches.
Hundreds of them.
"Ker chang" went the roofing machine outside. They were bending
flashing. Orton wished he was working on the roof. Those guys got paid
a lot better.
This was a 24 hour construction job rushing for christmas.
Under certain circumstances Orton lined up tiny squares for a living,
wishing he was a roofer. He thought about vertigo and how the doctor
told him to stay away from heights. He imagined himself taking a
dramatic swan dive from the top of the roof. He would crash into this
tilework somehow and scatter tiny squares everywhere.
"Ya that's the ticket" he said out loud.
"Ker chang" said the roofing machine.
On his day off orton went downtown to buy some sheet music. He wanted
to learn to play the old pump organ that he inherited from his grampa.
He saw a punk rock girl with a ring through her nose, and a dog with no
hair at all. He saw a stripper club that had pictures of naked girls
outside and a chines restaurant with smoked ducks hanging dead in the
window. He ate candy floss from a stand on the street. He ate popcorn
from a stand on the street. On the bus on the way home he vomited.
On sunday his aunt sent him to church to undrstand cheeses. Orton was
unsure why he should pray to cheeses but he just did what his aunt
asked. It was easier than argueing.
In the afternoon he flew airplanes.
"Ker twee! " they zoomed around above the field with a 'bjhooot' humm
mostly, but when they crash landed.
it was sharp. Orton liked flying his plane more than eating rice or
grooming dogs, but less than frying. Frying over flying was his story.
That and oodles of sidelines.
"Oodles." he thought.