Once Again Edited for Me by the Incomparable 'wires' Without Whose Help This Would Be a Far, Far Poorer Story. I Tweaked It a Little After He Returned the Document to Me So, as Always, Any Errors Are Wholely Mine.
Kyle Williams had a dream. It was a simple dream as many are, but like many dreams it required something of an effort to make it come true. Oh, sure, Kyle and many like him spent many hours dreaming of the end result and saying things like 'If I was', or 'it would be great if' or 'when I win the Powerball I'llÉ' but for the most part that was as far as the dreamers went to achieve their dream. Oh, sure, many people in the world went part way down the path that led them to achieving at least a portion of their dream. Kyle was a different type of dreamer though. He spent many hours on his dream and, truthfully, didn't spend much time planning how to achieve it. He just went out and did whatever he had to do to make ends meet. This is common, of course. More people than we want to admit just muddle through life and get by. Kyle set out to be the same. Somehow, something happened, though.
Kyle shot upright in his bed when he heard the loud banging. Over the dong, dong, dong of the wooden spoon hitting the bottom of the aluminum dishpan held in his mother's hands he heard her screeching voice. She yelled as his bedroom door slammed open and bounced off the doorstop. 'Kyle, get your lazy ass outta that bed right now. If you don't get dressed and downstairs in five minutes you'll have to leave without your breakfast. Your Daddy's already outside checking the truck. Now come on.'
Kyle groaned and fell back onto his mussed bed. He was weak. He was shaking and had trouble standing he was so dizzy. Some of his problem may have been all the beer he drank the night before but most of it was the violent wakeup call he just endured. You would think an eighteen-year-old man, as he liked to think of himself, could expect some consideration from his family on the day after his high school graduation and the party that came after. Kyle looked at the clock and grimaced. He had gotten a whole two and a half hours of sleep. No wonder he still felt unsteady on his feet. He was probably still legally drunk and he was definitely still exhausted.
Kyle remembered staggering into the house the night before giggling and shushing his friends as they tried to help him inside. He especially remembered Gloria's help. She had her blouse unbuttoned almost to her navel and her gloriously unencumbered breasts and pebble hard nipples were open to his view in the porch light his parent's left on for him. She was walking alongside him with her arm wrapped around his waist while his friend Bruce steadied them both from time to time as he more or less guided them onto the porch and opened the door.
Kyle wasn't sure how he hooked up with Gloria. Oh, sure, he knew her. After all, she was one of the 47 graduating seniors in his class and was at the party on the riverbank. What he didn't know is how she came to be with him and Bruce when they headed home. He remembered all three of them were in the cab of Bruce's truck, Gloria in the middle. He remembered seeing her get back into the truck and sit beside the passenger door when they left him inside his living room. Hell, he even remembered flashes of the events at the party. He couldn't remember Gloria being with Bruce and her sitting by the door when they left seemed to indicate she wasn't with Bruce.
Kyle staggered slowly down the stairs and into the too bright kitchen. His mother had his fried eggs, potatoes, sausage patties and toast on a plate at his spot at the table. He sat down and started to eat when his father came into the house and yelled, 'Damn it Kyle we don't have time for you to lay around and lollygag. Get yore ass up and let's go. We have a long day ahead of us.'
Kyle looked up at his father and started to take another bite. His father yelled again, 'I said ya don't have time for that. If ya wanted ta eat ya shoulda got up when we called ya the first time. Now come on.'
Kyle frowned. He had absolutely no memory of being awakened that morning before his mother came into his room beating on the dishpan. He glared at his father then put his two eggs and sausage on a piece of toast. He slopped ketchup on top and covered it with his other piece of toast then wrapped the sandwich in a paper towel. Kyle followed his father out the kitchen door and got into their old rattletrap F350 dually. Kyle's father climbed into the driver's seat, slipped the 17-year-old truck into gear and rattled down their dirt driveway. Kyle tried to eat his breakfast while he bounced in the seat. He sure wished he could have eaten the potatoes also. He really liked fried potatoes with his eggs and sausage. The old truck was rocking and bouncing because of the deep potholes in the red clay soil driveway.
Kyle barely got his sandwich eaten before his father pulled up at the first stop. Kyle got out of the truck and began pitching the garbage bags found along the street into the back of the old truck. He hated this job but it was what his family did to make ends meet. Everyone did some kind of work and added their meager pay to the family coffers. His mother and two sisters worked in the diner and Dairy King at town. His younger brother mowed lawns for some of the people in town using the same push mower Kyle used when he did the same thing. Now Kyle had to help his father run the privately operated trash service in their small town and the surrounding communities.
After a backbreaking 11-hour day Kyle and his father returned to their home. Kyle had no idea how many bags of trash he loaded into the truck and threw out of it when they were full and went to the county landfill. He was hot, tired, filthy, hungry and thirsty. He also hated what he did but he couldn't see any choice except to continue. There was no money for college even if he wanted to further his education. Of course with his grades no college would look twice at him either. He had a 2.1 out of a possible 4.0 grade point average when he graduated. Trash was in his future, or if he was exceptionally lucky and managed to escape his father's clutches he could work as a blue-collar factory worker. It didn't matter how many dreams he had of being rich and wearing nice clothes and driving fancy new vehicles. The reality was he was poor, poorly educated, and headed for a life of manual labor.
The summer progressed and Kyle lifted a never-ending volume of trash bags and larger items. Six days a week Kyle labored. One day in the fall Kyle's father's truck broke down. They could not run the route and Kyle had the day off. He went to town and hit the local Dairy King where his friends hung out. Bruce was there bragging about his new job working nights at the local La Z Boy chair plant. When Kyle asked about it Bruce said it was long hours but good money. He worked four ten-hour shifts and even got some overtime. After he got better and could work faster he could even make more money than he was currently because of piecework rates.
Kyle didn't even think about what he was doing. He turned and got onto his small older 150cc motorcycle. He rode to the Lazy Boy plant and applied for a job. To his surprise when he turned his application in he was asked to wait. A man in a suit came out of an office and asked him to come in and 'visit'.
While they were talking, the man wrote notes in the margins of his application. After a few moments the man leaned back in his chair and said, 'Ok, I think weÔll give you a try. We need a couple more men on nights. When can you start?'
Kyle was almost speechless. He stammered and finally said, 'I guess I could start Monday. I help my Daddy on his trash route right now and I oughtta give him a couple of days to replace me.'
'OK. Come in about 2:30 Monday afternoon and see Miss Jensen in my outer office. She'll get you through all the paperwork and introduce you to your foreman. He'll get you started. Here's our policy manual. You need to read it and become familiar with the rules. You will be on three months' probation. If you work out you'll be permanent after that time. Any questions?'
Kyle shook his head no and said, 'No, Sir. I'll be here Monday.'
Kyle's father was furious when he told him and his mother he would be working at the plant beginning Monday. Kyle knew most of his father's anger came because he would have to do more, if not all, of the work on the route when Kyle went to work at the plant. His father had done all the work before Kyle got out of school except on school holidays and weekends when he made Kyle help. He suspected his younger brother would now have the pleasure of helping his father after school and weekends. Kyle didn't care. In his mind he would now be well on his way to a life of riches and luxury. He would start work at almost $7.00 per hour. Imagine, he would make almost $260.00 per week without overtime. He could make even more if he worked faster because the plant worked on piecework. The base pay could be almost doubled if he worked fast and put out a quality product. Why he could even buy a used truck and have wheels!
.... There is more of this story ...