Fonlies

Took the bus out to Shorebirds Stadium for a job fair. It was worse chaos than at the Red Cross. People were in a worse temper, too, which is odd if you think about it. Or maybe not. Maybe folks who go down by the Red Cross have all but given up hope of finding those who got disappeared. I don't like to think about it.
Everyone was real mad today, though, I tell you that. Getting in the faces of the "recruiters" and hollering at them, which don't seem like the best way to get a job. The guy just before me really gave them a hard time. "This wouldn't be happening if the President was still around!" he yelled.
"Sir--"
"I mean, I'm All American, right? White as a Ku-Klux sheet! And you tell me there ain't no work?"
I stayed out of it. In the IOWA camps we called guys like that "fonlies," cause they were always saying "if-only." As in, "You can bet I wouldn't be here with all you terrorists if only the President knew what happened at my trial." You couldn't get through to them, not for nothing. 
I was real polite when it came my turn. Kaylea would of been real proud of me. The young kid behind the table asked what my experience was, and when I said construction he sighed.
"That means the Mexico Wall, don't it?" When I owned up he said, "I must of talked to two hundred people today who worked on that damn wall, men and women, all ages. I've got to be straight with you--that's not useful experience."
That did make me mad. I leaned on the table. "Why, cause it makes me a criminal? You know I'm not--"
He waved me off. "No, no, it's not that. But hauling rocks around in the hot sun, and sometimes hauling them right back--it ain't the same as regular construction, see what I mean?"
I closed my eyes for a second, seeing Gilly stretched out on her back, dead of sunstroke while the gang boss screamed like it was our fault. "No, I suppose it wasn't."
Now the young kid leaned forward. "At least it worked in the end, right?"
"What did?"
"The Wall--it keeps them Mexican rapists out."
I looked him straight in the eye. "That-there wall wouldn't keep a coyote out." I said it Western-style. KI-yoat.


Posted by Rob Stevens at 12:31:17, Thursday, March 5, 2026

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