The Rhythm

Turkey Creek Community

Gulfport, MississippiSaturday, September 24, 2005  


The sky in the east begins to lighten.

The rhythm begins.  

I slip out of bed, make my way to the front of the trailer, slip on my shoes and step outside. Still groggy, the early morning warmth and humidity wash over me like a wave. I finish my business to save capacity in the black water tank and climb back into the trailer, it gently rocking to my steps.  

Steph appears from the bedroom, rubbing her eyes open for a sleepy good morning kiss.  


A refrigerated coffee, some microwave instant grits, a piece of toast and I’m ready to face the day.

The sun block stings the blisters on the back of my neck where I forgot to apply it a few days ago. The bug spray burns the poison ivy covering my swollen arms. I flex my right hand. It’s hard to make a fist for a little while. The swelling is the worst when I first wake up.  

I slip off my shorts and step outside to retrieve my overalls, still damp from the previous day’s sweat and rain. I lace up my steel toe boots, well scarred, soft and supple. Pulled from a box on the top shelves of the garage, they speak of many days of long, physical labor many years ago. Revived, they feel as soft as deer skin moccasins and as tough as their long wearing soles. I double knot the laces, knowing it will be well dark before they will be removed.  

I check myself. Hat, ear plugs, glasses, billfold, keys, tractor keys, pen, sharpie and leather work gloves, still soft and wet with sweat from yesterday, tucked into the back pocket of my Carhart bib overalls. I am ready.


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