Johnny America




An­drew dipped his hand in­to the yel­low-green wa­ter, ran his thumb over the torn mesh cov­er­ing the sponge, then sighed. He let his fin­gers re­lax so the sponge would start to slip through them, pulled to­ward the slimy sur­face by its buoy­an­cy, then with an un­no­ticed sat­is­fac­tion caught the neon pink scrub­ber by its flee­ing tail. A hun­dred times a day a smile dart­ed across his face as he per­formed adroit stunts of soap-lath­er­ing and vac­u­um-wand-ef­fects. Oc­ca­sion­al­ly he no­ticed and, ashamed of his up­turned lips, forced an un­con­vinc­ing frown that made his eye­brows pinch too close to­geth­er. An­drew shook twice, splish, splish, the palm-sized pil­low that chained him to the gang, then drew the sponge up from the bucket.

Hey Bug­boy! ‘Yer in for a treat — bel­lowed Ass­hole Jim, who’d tak­en a lik­ing to An­drew from day one, as he point­ed to a mon­ster GMC that was rolling in­to line. It was topped thick­ly with mud ic­ing and mos­qui­to-leg sprin­kle — the kind of crust that de­serves an hour’s soak. Ass­hole Jim was the on­ly mem­ber of the back-line crew An­drew could take, so he was graced with a slight demon­stra­tion of ca­ma­raderie in­stead of the mum­bled threats that dom­i­nat­ed the few sen­tences he’d spo­ken to the rest of the crew. An­drew gave Ass­hole Jim a shoul­der shrug and head-nod-eye-roll com­bo. Trans­la­tion: fuck them and their shit-splat­tered, Sil­ver-Wash in­clud­ing white-wall scrub and com­pli­men­ta­ry air re­fresh­er-ass­es. He plunged his hand back in­to the bucked with scoop­ing mo­tion, no squeezes, so it was sop­ping full as he glid­ed it over the in­sect splat­ter paint­ing the bumper of the red GMC.

Filed under Fiction on March 8th, 2004

Care to Share?

Consider posting a note of comment on this item:


Previous Post


Next Post


Join our Irregular Mailing List

For very occasional ramblings, word about new print ephemera, and of course exciting investment opportunities.