My name is Colin.
My first memory is being about two years old - so it would have been 1952 - crying and my Pop telling me to shut up and stop making a fuss. I don't remember where my mother was, and I have no memories of her, but I have this memory and in this memory I knew I had a mother and she wasn't there and I wanted her. I asked Pop about it once when I was about twelve and he told me not to bother him with such questions, and so I didn't.
I didn't want to make a fuss.
I did well in school, kept my head down and didn't cause any problems or noise, and I got good grades. But then Pop got sick and I had to drop out, give up my dreams of College and take up a job in construction to help out with the bills. I wasn't very happy, but I just did what had to be done, didn't complain. It didn't matter, I didn't mind that everyone I knew got to go to College and Woodstock and travel around the country protesting and singing and having lots and lots of sex, because working construction was okay and I got to watch Baseball with my Pop sometimes if I promised not to talk.
It was okay, I don't like to make a fuss.
During the eighties there was a boom and our construction firm got in a lot of work, and a lot of new workers were brought in - mostly high school dropouts and immigrants. Our Union caused far too much fuss for my liking and staged a number of strikes over the level of pay for all the new workers, and finally they promoted a bunch of long term employees, including me, and I became foreman on a series of different projects. I really had no capacity to manage men, but our Union representative said it didn't matter, that it was important for "the brothers". I didn't like to make a fuss, so I took the job and just tried my best to let the boys do what they wanted to do as long as they got the job done as close to schedule as possible, usually about six months after we were supposed to.
Things were going fine as I settled into a nice little rut, and then Pop died and I thought maybe it was time to sell up the house and maybe think about doing some night school classes. Then the stock market crash hit and the boom died down a little for construction, and we all had to hunker down and work extra hard to keep our jobs - we even worked weekends now - so I put all such foolishness as continuing my education in my mid-thirties aside. It was just as well, my life was nice and ordered, and I didn't want to make a fuss.
At the start of the 90s, things started to get better, and work began on reconstruction on the wasteland in Doherty, by an old garage run by a nice quiet young man who never said anything. Unlike most of our construction jobs, this was away from the major flow of pedestrian traffic, and some days despite the heavy traffic on the road it felt like we were in our own little world. Some of my workers got into some bad habits, but they still got their work done, so I left them mostly alone and just stayed in my portable going over plans that didn't need going over, or in the portable toilet just enjoying the quiet. I didn't like to make a fuss, so I let them leave pornography everywhere and talk nonsense that was against workplace discrimination policies and pee into the trenches we'd dug for laying pipe, and just thought that once the work was done we'd move somewhere that felt less remote and everything would be fine.
And then "they" moved in.
It was Sunday morning, and the garage wasn't officially open yet and wouldn't be for a few weeks at least, but Cesar, Jethro and Dwaine were here, putting in work because they loved cars, loved tinkering with them, and sometimes it was nice to just hang out and work together on cars. Cesar had been in the middle of telling them about one of the race scams we'd pulled when I came in, pleased to see them all. After leaving Katie's I'd returned home and gotten changed into some casual gear, then come down just to hang, relax after that shit the night before.
"Hey Jethro, Dwaine," I grinned,"You get a chance, I put another ding in my ride, you sort it out?"
"Hey dude... yeah, sure," nodded Jethro. Dwaine slapped him on his shoulder.
"You said you'd say!" Dwaine hissed.
"I will man, I will, just chill..." Jethro complained.
"Say what?" I asked, confused, but before they could say anything, Kendl came stomping through.
"WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?" she demanded, me and Cesar stepping back as she came right towards us,"DO I LOOK LIKE A HOOKER TO YOU?"
"Wha..." I started, and she pointed out the window to the construction site just up the bank, a few guys working even though it was Sunday.
"Those assholes keep saying shit to me!" she yelled.
"Who said this to you?" demanded Cesar, pushing past me as I stared frowning out the window at the site. First day we moved in they talked shit to her and she convinced me to let it lie, and they'd gone on giving her shit and we'd let it slide figuring they'd get sick of it, and then Kendl had even complained to the foreman - some bitch named Colin - but they were STILL dissing MY sister?
Oh hell no.
"...that hill," Kendl was telling Cesar, and he started turning, fire in his eyes like he was going to go throw down with all of them at once.
"No, hold up, I got this," I told him, putting an arm up to block him,"I need to go and teach them a little respect, huh?"
Cesar looked me in the eyes, then nodded and stepped back, putting his arm on Kendl's back.
"I been thinking about getting me some new land anyway," I told them, punching my open palm, then turned and walked away. Last night I'd tried to save a man and failed, and then failed myself when I let a girl I thought could have been special turn it into something sick and twisted.
Today I felt like hurting people.
She came to me a few days after they first moved in, complaining about the constant sexual harassment, saying it wasn't acceptable, she wasn't going to put up with it. She told me that they shouted sexually explicit things at her, and I felt my stomach rolling over, and then she told me that they urinated in the trenches in front of her and made obscene gestures at their crotches, and I felt my throat burning as I held back throwing up. I wasn't made nauseous by the things they had said or done, but by what she was asking me to do.
Make a fuss.
I told her that Final Build Construction in no way endorsed or supported the verbal and visual abuse she had been subjected to, and assured her the men would be spoken to and disciplined. she seemed slightly mollified and left, subjected the entire way by very vocal suggestions of what my workers would like to do to her, which didn't help my case. But I had promised her, and so I took action immediately.... I put a copy of the Code of Conduct for Final Build Construction up on a bulletin inside one of the portable sheds.
The next day I went to use a portable toilet and found the copy had been used as toilet paper by one of the workers, so I knew he had seen it and thus I'd fulfilled my obligation, that was the end of that.
No fuss needed.
It was raining pretty hard, a sudden storm had rolled in and the workers were mostly taking shelter from the rain, sitting in those portable sheds enjoying getting paid for shooting the shit and saying dirty things to my sister. Well fuck them.
"WHAT DA FUCK ARE YOUSE DOING!" screamed one of the construction workers through the rain and thunder,"YOUSE A FUCKING NUT!?!"
"YOU LIKE TALKING DIRTY TO MY SISTER, HUH!?!" I screamed back, riding the bulldozer around in circles in the muddy ground in front of a gathering of the workers, not soaked wet and looking pissed and confused,"WELL NOW YOU CAN GET DIRTY!"
I looked around and spotted the trench where they been pissing into, flashing they junk at Kendl... there was a fucking portable toilet RIGHT next to it, those fucking assholes.
"LIKE TO PISS IN THE TRENCH, HUH!?!" I screamed, turning the dozer in its direction,"LOOKS LIKE I GOTTA TOILET TRAIN YO ASSES!"
"THERE! NOW AT LEAST YO FUCKING TOILET IS WHERE YOU PISS!" I screamed out at them, not sure if they could even hear over the engine, even with the storm fading now, I certainly couldn't hear anything they was shouting,"BUT I AIN'T DONE YET!"
I turned the dozer around and headed towards the cement truck, and over the fading storm and the growl of the dozer engine I could finally hear muted words coming from all the construction workers.
"...shole, get the ni...."
"...hink he's doi...."
Another dozer operated by one of the workers smart enough to think rammed into me and then they was swarming all over me, trying to take me down. Hell no, not today, they didn't know who the fuck they was dealing with.
These fuckers didn't let up though, you'd think that after I smashed up half they yard and beat the crap out of a bunch of them they'd just let me do my thing, but they seemed almost crazy as they grabbed at me through the window of the cement truck, pulling me clear and attacking again, screaming and shouting something about,"the little quiet bastard."
Whatever, I wasn't done teaching them a lesson.
Now that it was filled up, the workers were just standing there staring, mouths gaping, looking horrified. I was pleased with the reaction but a little confused, they seemed to be taking it even harder than I'd thought. I rolled down the window and leaned out, looking down at them.
"I take it I got my point across?" I said, and they stared up at me, and some of them looked like they were on the verge of tears... Jesus, it just a trench for them to piss in!"No more pissing out in open, no more talking dirty to ladies and freaking them out... in fact maybe it would be better if you just fucked off out of here and never came back, understand?"
They stared at me, at the trench, back at me again, and then slowly, one by one, they all walked away, shaking they heads, some holding each other for support, others stopping to puke.... Jesus, they took getting taught a lesson by a brother pretty fucking hard, but as long as the end result was what I wanted, that was fine by me.
Kendl wouldn't be getting no more fuss from them.
I drove the cement truck down to the road and parked it, just a little across from the garage. We'd leave it there for now, scavenge some parts from it later and dump it some time tonight, for now it could sit there, it wouldn't look out of place so close to the construction site, and I had a feeling no one from there would be contacting the police any time soon, if at all.
I got out and stretched, feeling pretty good, like I'd gotten clear of some of the shit in my head from last night. The storm had passed too and the mist was burning off as the sun rose higher, and it was like it symbolizing a whole fresh start or some shit like that. Cars were starting to pack the road now, and I grinned as I realized not all of them were heading out for a Sunday picnic or one they way back from Church, some were only just heading home from partying last night... including one poor son of a bitch who'd taken something that didn't agree with him and was running up the road hitting cars and yelling at them for some wrong he thought he'd done them... and had the unfortunate luck to have a police car next in line for him to vent on.
"Fucking drugs, man," I said, shaking my head,"Spare me that shit, thank you very much."
I took my phone out as it rang, turning away as the idiot started whaling on the 5-0 ride and screaming at the officers inside that they was Soldiers of the Oppression, wondering who was calling me, surprised by who it turned out to be.
"Jethro?" I said, surprised, looking over towards the garage and seeing him standing by a window on the phone. He spotted me and looked confused, because he was always half-stoned and had trouble making connections that didn't involve working on a car. Finally he waved at me and kept talking.
"Hey man, that Zero dude called, he said he needed to see you urgently, sounded reaaaaal important."
"Okay man, I'll go check it out," I said,"You couldn't tell me that in 30 seconds when I got to the garage?"
"Yeah, well...." he said, sounding unsure of himself,"I was talking to Cesar, and uh, well don't get me wrong, dude.... I mean, you are one out there dude, when it comes to driving, man.... but Cesar, he told us how many cars you get through, dude, and me and Dwaine were, like, whooaaa!"
"No point, man, no point!" he said quickly, and now I knew why he'd called me on the phone to tell me this, he was freaked out I'd kick his ass if he said it face to face,"It's just...."
"Driving school, shit," I said, hanging up and shaking my head,"Fucking stoners."
I looked up the street, where the stoned dude was still chasing the police car, which had stopped short. They'd given him a pass for whatever reason and he'd kept coming after them, and everyone but him knew that he was going to get an ass whooping for it.
"Fucking stoners," I said again, then started heading home to get changed out of my wet and muddy clothes and then find out what Zero wanted. Driving school? What could possibly be in that for me?
The answer, I'd find out not too long from now, was a spectacular set of tits.
It was quiet.
Dark, bearing down on me, that disturbing creaking sounding beneath me every so often but the groaning of the portable toilet had settled now, and it was..... quiet.
I don't know what happened, I came out of the toilet and some madman had torn up half the site so I went to hide inside, and then I was being knocked about and the toilet was turning over and over and then everything went black, I think I passed out or was knocked out or something. When I came to, it was just as black, and the walls of the toilet were bowed inwards and everything felt heavy, even the air and I didn't know what was happening.
But it was quiet.
"This isn't so bad," I said, and my voice sounded flat... but it wasn't so bad, it was quiet and I didn't think I was going to be disturbed here, I was finally just going to be left alone. I couldn't stay here forever, of course, but would anyone hear me if I shouted? And could they do anything even if they did? Better to just lie here in the quiet, not making any noise, not being disturbed.
I didn't want to make a fuss.