Newspaper Shift

1st July,  6:30 a.m.  A golden Saturday morning.  Back in work.  Newspapers.

The sun flows westward across the carpark.  Darkness is dispersed and seeks its last sanctuary behind any object.

I clock in.  

A mellow warmth already.  Bails of papers, basking in the morning sun, form a pile at the front entrance.  They’re on time today – that helps.  On weekday’s there’s enough room in a trolley to bring all the papers in with one run.  Today, I make three runs – it’s a Saturday, and the bourgeoisie must have their weekend supplements.  Out and in, and out and in, and out and in from the shop to the car park where they were left by suppliers.  ‘Supplier’ is a kind of euphemism for delivery driver.  Those guys have it tough.

American Pie is piped across the shop speakers; croissants and baguettes come piping from the bakery ovens.  “This’ll be the day that I die”. I hope I don’t die today.  Still, I’m “lucky to have a job”.

And I am lucky, even if I only make €10 an hour from the profits we make them.  The company is doing increasingly good business.  I am surviving.  I still exist.  My circumstances are relatively fortunate.

But just as a body in physics contains potential energy by its existence, I have potential, but I’m not in motion.  How can I make an impact?  What will happen to that potential?  If science, history, or sociology teaches us anything, it is that huge quantities of energy and potential are wasted, lost.  It is more likely that we’ll come out on the losing end, no matter what your parents say.  Entropy and economics ensure that.

However, I am lucky.  And that’s part of what is so infuriating, so frustrating.  Should one’s survival and position in life be determined merely by luck?  And of those who are deemed lucky – should we rightly consider that to be “the end of the matter”?  It is illogical to me that being allowed to work is “lucky”.  Merely being lucky is hardly good enough?  Apart from gamblers, few people strive to be lucky. Surely, we strive for more.

Some may convince us to be satisfied and happy.  They display a resigned contentment at being just a mile from heaven, whilst we are but a step outside hell.  Still, we are lucky, regardless, to be the dry ones, safe on the banks of the Styx.

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