Words of the Working Class

by Elissa Cain

I saw a man today in passing, his appearance rugged and dirty like that of a manual laborer (a brick-layer or carpenter, perhaps). His body was strong but his face was stronger, with a wide-set jaw and Roman nose reminiscent of a comic book hero; his eyes were unclouded and bright, with a glint of intelligence and compassion that seemed far and above the caste that his soiled fa├žade suggested. He was conversing with a cohort, who looked equally as working-class but devoid of the hint of cleverness and concern found in his friend. What a rare bird, I thought to myself as my brain tuned into their exchange, waiting with bated breath for a mention of Sophocles or Ptolemy, or maybe even Hawking. “What’chu gonna do tonight, man?” asked the smaller, wiry companion, rubbing the back of his dirty hand under his nose to wipe away the sweat that trickled down from his forehead and created salty tributaries in the filth that coated his face. “I’m gonna get me a six pack and build me a bonfire out back by the tool shed and maybe burn some tires,” he replied in an obviously uneducated and gruff voice, “You got any dope?” Intelligent proletariat hero he was not, but at least he knew how to start a fire... that should count for something at least.


Elissa Cain amuses herself with her thoughts in the great but lonely state of Alabama. She is glad to have found a playground where she can commune with other’s thoughts and share things that go unsaid in the material world.