RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Tuesday, October 26

SONG OF THE DAY: I'd Rather Be With You

Now That’s What I Call Love Songs For Big Women And The Goofy-Assed Men That Love Them, Volume 8, was always in heavy rotation around the time machine parts factory I worked at outside of Kenbridge for a couple months in the spring of 1998. We made kerfufflic coils, and I was managed by a guy who had Rudy on his name patch but everybody called him Toots, and he was chill I guess, so far as managers go, but there was a big rush in people trying to refurbish old time machines in that period before Y2K, and I definitely didn’t have the same grasp on kerfufflic coils back then that I do now, so I kinda hated that job. I mean, I’d still hate it, because all we did was making a tiny coil for old time machines, no time travel involved, in fact, it was really quite boring. I think minimum wage was still around $5, because I know they paid us $9 an hour, which was actually great money for Kenbridge back then, but I’d complain, “Sitting here making shit for a fuckin’ time machine, making $9 an hour,” and Toots would go, “Shit boy, that’s double minimum wage. You way too much college boy sometimes.”
He was probably right. College changed me. I wasn’t Southside Virginia anymore, briefly tricked into having dreams and hopes which replaced getting high at lunch (we all need our delusions). But Toots controlled the boombox, and he kept Now That’s What I Call Love Songs For Big Women And The Goofy-Assed Men That Love Them, Volume 8, bumping regularly. If you’ve ever seen me do my weird, shit-eating grin shuffle dance/creep thing, I learned that from Toots. New guy always had to sweep up at the end of the shift, which meant me the entire couple months I worked there, and Toots would just shuffle dance across the concrete factory warehouse floor with 15 minutes left in the shift, singing, “Time to sweep up, boy… time to sweep up all this shit. Time to sweep up, boy… get that push broom Raven.” That was my favorite part of the day, him dancing and singing, me pushing the thick bristled push broom forward, with a whoosh, then a lifting THUMP to quake the dirt out of it, before pulling back for another big whooshing push, all of it going to the middle, everything moving to the center, then dust panning all the day’s dirt out of existence, like none of it ever happened. We’d all stand around that last couple minutes, boombox still blasting, shooting the shit, waiting for Toots to get up and hit stop on the boombox. Clock on the wall was five minutes slower than him, but we went by Toots watch, even though he didn’t wear one that I ever saw. But he’d hit stop, and the first musical silence of the day meant we all grabbed our coats and started heading to the door. He’d be standing there waiting to lock up.
I didn’t quit officially, just stopped going, because I woke up the next day and didn’t feel like keeping down that particular dead end, hoping for a different dead end to get lost on. I was the last one out that last day I went in though, and as I walked past, and Toots moved to lock the door walking out behind me, he sang sort of so I could hear but also just as much to entertain himself, “Have a good night, motherfuckin’ college boy.”

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