A Warehouse, A Blonde Man by Sage Pantony

My alarm goes off.
I feel groggy
Because I was awake at 6 am again.
I get up and make myself a sweet coffee
Then walk down to a warehouse to ask for a job.
This one’s only 29 minutes away,
18 by bus.
They hire me on the spot.

In this place, half the workers wear masks over their faces,
Half wear masks under their noses,
And half don’t wear masks at all.

The manager is distracted and wiry with lank blonde hair.
Everyone wants his attention,
And when it’s my turn, he surprises me
By being the first person to shake my hand in years.
At the end of our walking interview,
He tells me that the job is 40 hours a week, from 11 to 7,
But the ad said 30.
He claims they can accommodate me
If I write my schedule down.
I give myself Wednesdays and weekends off.

So, I’ll see you tomorrow?
The blonde manager asks
Amidst his habit of standing too close.
I tell him I’ll see him tomorrow.
I’m going to be a picker and a packer.
He thinks I’m a student,
That I have classes to work around.
I don’t know how to tell him I’m a writer.

Sage Pantony is a writer, poet, and zinester. They primarily write about gender, sexuality, relationships, mental health, trauma, spirituality, and creativity. They currently reside in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal with their pet dinosaur, Peter. You can check out their website at www.sagepantony.com or follow them on Instagram @sage_pantony or Twitter @sage_pantony.