Vinyl

BrockaMusic, WorkLeave a Comment

His wife mentions that his groin smells like smoked meat when he eats too much barbeque. His body heats up, and it sweats out from his pores. He’s been the smoke master at a famous BBQ joint for years; lines out the door until they run out. Like a fisherman who can’t remove the smell of scales from his skin or the mechanic who can’t completely remove the grease from under his nails, he can’t shower away the smoke from his hair. In the food business, they buy extra-large, powder-free vinyl gloves. He is the one who likes to shred the chickens and pull the pork, so he wears multiple pairs a day, even when using prongs. Despite not touching the … Read More

BrockaVinyl

Anticipation

BrockaHealth & Wellness, Work1 Comment

Amy is leaning into the kitchen counter hand washing dishes in too tepid water. The hot water must be rationed as she has to wash her hair later; every single day, otherwise she looks slick and grimy. Both her hair and her broken out face are too greasy; teenage hormones. Two other siblings compete for hot showers in this one-bathroom home. The discord around showers is constant.  When all the dishes are balanced on the drying rack and the sink is wiped down, she turns herself into the corner nook and leans back into the counter. She has taken a cleaned paring knife and sliced open an avocado. Cupping half of it in one hand, she lightly seasons it with lemon pepper, then eats it with a spoon. … Read More

BrockaAnticipation

Level Up

BrockaPolitics, Work1 Comment

Classically trained in New York by a brutal Russian, the retired ballerina became a severe Pilates instructor in her retirement years. Exhausted, but never knowing rest. One experience folded into the next. Like falling dominoes, we don’t know what one introduction, or time period, or opportunity in our lives will be what gives way to the next version of ourselves.   ~~~  There is downtime in his roofing business. So mostly on a whim, and struck by something said at church, he rushed into the opportunity to become a substitute teacher at a local junior high. With the background check and credentials run, he showed up with excitement. It was quickly apparent how demoralizing it was. He bemoans their disrespect and disregard and … Read More

BrockaLevel Up

For Arts Sake

BrockaArt, WorkLeave a Comment

Most proponents of universal basic income attach their idea to an inevitable loss of employment from the general robotization of service jobs. With an entire working-class unemployable, providing a reliable source of income prevents more from falling into poverty, and ideally, frees these people to be creative. This concept of ‘free to create’ is so pernicious, as if being free of responsibility means one may contribute more to the world; as if the stress of any work prevents one from making art. It’s also funny too, considering many people see themselves as lacking any creative bone in their body.   Two years of Covid lockdown, coupled with its initial financial cushion provided us a micro example of this UBI idealism. People did … Read More

BrockaFor Arts Sake

When Things Change

BrockaHealth & Wellness, Relationships, WorkLeave a Comment

When corporate sweeps in and takes over the individually owned, bootstrapped and personally branded company, all the dynamism in the office shifts. Office politics are introduced. The established camaraderie, the last-minute office happy hours, the provocative holiday parties, now interrupted by the HR machine. Ironically, the watching of sexual harassment videos and other procedural items are outsourced to the assistants. The staff aren’t the ones ‘…bringing in the fucking money. I don’t have time for this!’ Before, the deals were done under the aura and vulgarity of a frat house; now everyone is an independent contractor with new titles and a different hierarchy, watching their backs. The rest of the staff edit their casual conversation topics and spend less time lingering at the … Read More

BrockaWhen Things Change