Sunday, November 04, 2018

Tauy Creek Digest #50: Doors

Alexis was hesitant to take a job at the garage door factory but she needed the money it was 17 dollars an hour she would get the next day. “It requires a lot of heavy lifting,” the man at the unemployment agency said. “Are you fine lifting fifty or more pounds over your head?”

Alexis never thought about that. She assumed she could. “Yeah, I can do that,” she guessed.

“We have several openings for third shift which is 11 P.M. through 8 A.M. Are those hours okay?”

“Yeah. I’d prefer overnight anyway,” Alexis said.

“Can you start tonight? I know it’s short notice.”

Alexis nodded.

The first half of the night was dealing with paperwork and the standard corporate videos about company theft, time theft, and sexual harassment. There was also a video on safety which the guy running this thing emphatically stressed as the most important thing. Everything shut down at lunch and nearly everyone left to go get something. Only Alexis and about seven other people stayed and ate in the break room.

Another girl about Alexis’ age came in and sat alone in the corner and began eating a sandwich. She had her hair tied tightly into two braids. She was in a sleeveless shirt, her sports bra stained with sweat, and short shorts. Alexis kept looking at her as she ate the bag of chips she bought from the vending machine.

The other girl and Alexis made eye contact. Alexis didn’t divert her eyes, thinking that would be more awkward. The other girl stared back as she finished her sandwich. She gave Alexis the middle finger and smiled angrily at her for a brief second before getting up, throwing away her trash, and leaving the break room.

Alexis thought about the girl the whole time she was squirting hot glue onto the backs of the garage doors that passed her on the conveyor belt and as she placed small steel beams in the glue. A couple of times, Alexis saw the other girl pulling giant rolling shelves of doors from one area of the factory to the other. When Alexis saw her, it made the night slightly more bearable despite burning her fingers on the hot glue nozzle and getting glue on her shirt. She also pinched her finger against one of the beams and a door. A blood boil was now forming and it made working a bit slower and she got backed up several times, much to the anger to the people at the start of the assembly line.

The klaxon went off and it was time for third shift to stop working and first shift to start. Exhausted, Alexis went to the entrance to clock out.

“Hey,” someone came up behind her as she slid her timecard into the clock. Alexis turned and saw the other girl standing behind her. “I’m Natalie. Are you one of the new temps?”

“Yeah. It was my first night,” Alexis answered.

“Cool. Glad to see a female about my age working here. The women here are either older factory workers or work in the front offices. I don’t know what first and second shift look like but we’re two anomalies during this shift. So what’s your name?”


“Alexis,” Natalie smiled. “I’ll see you around, Alexis,” Natalie reached over and gently pinched Alexis’ upper arm.

The first break time was at 1:45 for Alexis. Break times were assigned by jobs. As Alexis headed to the break room, Natalie came up to her pulling shelves of doors. “Hey, do you want to go to lunch with me?” she asked.

Alexis was taken back by the question. “Uh, sure. I didn’t bring anything anyway. I was just going to buy another bag of chips out of the vending machine.”

“Great. It’s a date,” Natalie winked and, again, pinched Alexis’ arm before resuming pulling her doors.

After break, Alexis was moved one step earlier in her line. She went from sticking steel beams in hot glue to lifting the doors over her head to turn them over. It was hard work and not something Alexis wanted to do. She missing getting burned by the hot glue.

At lunch, they got in Natalie’s car and Natalie drove them to a park about a mile away from the factory. “I thought we were going to eat,” Alexis wondered.

“We’ll grab something,” Natalie said. “I saw that they moved you. You looked good doing all that heavy lifting.”

“I wish I felt good. I’m so hungry and my torso feels so cramped. Not to mention my arms feel like cooked pasta,” Alexis chuckled.

“It’s a tough job. I’ve been doing it for two years. Not many can hack it. Where’d you work before this?”

“A temp job in a mail room and before that, rip-off insurance customer service and before that customer service for a cable provider.”

“Sounds kind of like my job history,” Natalie said. “On the plus side, I get to meet interesting people.”

“Yeah, I have met quite a few people who have become fri…” Natalie’s lips were suddenly on Alexis’. Her eyes widened as she realized what was happening. She kissed back and slowly closed her eyes.

Her seat went down and Natalie was on top of her, one hand caressing her cheek and neck, the other making its way up underneath Alexis’ shirt to her breast. They made out for several minutes until Natalie pulled away and they just looked at each other. After the surprise and feeling of what happened passed, Alexis noticed that Natalie had her right arm in a pinch like she had done yesterday morning.

“Ow,” Alexis said, and pulled her arm away but with a smile.

“Sorry. I do that,” Natalie laughed and rolled off of Alexis and back into the driver’s seat. “Ready to get some lunch?”

“Yeah. I’m hungry,” Alexis said. She noticed a bruise where Natalie had pinched her earlier.

“We don’t have much time to grab something,” Natalie began driving. “We’ll probably be hungry later. Want to have breakfast with me after work?”

“I’d really like that,” Alexis said. She wanted the sun up quickly. She wanted to finish what Natalie had started. Alexis had come out to herself when she found herself dating Michelle Tatum her freshman—and only—year of college. They had started out as friends and just decided that they should date each other. The relationship didn’t last very long and Alexis lost a good friend.

“Great. I’ll meet you outside the employee entrance after you clock out. Okay?”

At breakfast, Alexis and Natalie talked about work and exes. Both revealed how distant they were from their families. They talked about friends, of which Natalie had more of, and things each of them liked to do. Natalie talked about her fondness for music and being in a band, Girls You Can’t Have, for a hot second. Alexis talked about her wanting to do something with kids as a career but had dropped out of college. Natalie had graduated from community college and was very supportive of Alexis going back to school.

After breakfast, Alexis took Natalie home and the two of them continued what had started about four hours ago in the car. Natalie was only Alexis’ third time while Natalie, who had known who she was attracted to at a younger age, was much more experienced. When they finished, Alexis lay in Natalie’s arms. Natalie was pulled gently on Alexis’ arm hair which she liked just a bit more than the arm pinches she had received before.

“Why do you pinch me?” Alexis asked.

“I think it’s because I’m nervous,” Natalie answered.

“Nervous? The first time you saw me you flipped me off.”

“When I really like someone, I get nervous. Maybe even worried.”


“I have a lot of one-night stands, friends with benefits, but relationships are few and far between. I don’t want to screw it up.”

“Relationship?” Alexis interrupted. “Are we dating now?” she looked up at Natalie, smiling.

“Yeah. If you want.”

“If you wanted to date me, then why did you sleep with me so fast?”

“Why did you?”

“I didn’t think you were looking for a relationship so I was fine with accepting a one-night stand,” Alexis admitted. “I figured that I should take that risk. And you?”

“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to actually date you but I know I wanted you even if it was just for a fleeting moment,” Natalie explained, looking at the arm hairs that she was playing with. She then bent down and kissed Alexis on the neck near the shoulder.

“Natalie?” Alexis asked, a slight gasp at her lips on her neck.


“You can keep pinching me.”