Nonfiction | December 11, 2020
I shift from foot to foot. Both my feet hurt. I’m packing magnets at my dad’s factory, and the rubber mats meant to cushion my joints from the floor don’t help.
A little to my left is bald-topped Tom, and a little to my right is chatty Candy, and in front of me is a concrete wall. If I go further to the left of Tom, the warehouse door opens out onto the parking lot, where my dad eats lunch in his car. I understand why he does—he’s a salesman, albeit one trained in the physics of ferrite, who draws complex equations for his clients in China—but still, he spends a lot of time on the phone: yak, yak, yak. I’d hate it: I’d rather pack, although I’m not allowed to pack the rare-earth bundles, so strong they could crush my fingers without enough cardboard between to keep their relentless attractions apart. Plus, the packing jobs I do are not always so good to start: a few broken shipments have come back in the mail, and sometimes I wonder if I ever properly learned to count. Candy shows me how to weigh the smaller pellet-magnets properly in batches, and that helps a little.
If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.
Want to read more?Subscribe Today
SEE THE ISSUE
Mar 02 2021
A Series of Tubes
Although widely ridiculed for the statement, the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was right when he said, “The Internet is a series of tubes.” He was just off by a
Mar 01 2021
One night while counting down the till at Casa de Agave, the San Diego tequila bar I’d been working for a couple of fun but exhausting years, I received an
Dec 11 2020
Magnet Man I shift from foot to foot. Both my feet hurt. I’m packing magnets at my dad’s factory, and the rubber mats meant to cushion my joints from the