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 with topping.
He was rushing to the addresses on the clipboard next to him as he drove.
"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. 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 satan.
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 glide.

***


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 working.
Grab pull stuff, grab pull stuff.Just like they'd showed him in the orientation movie.
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.
pssssst.

****

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.
French fries.
Burgurs.
Dogs.
Rings.
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 anyways."thought Orton.

****

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.