by Shannon Peil

Unemployment hits ten percent and these men come into the office smelling of a failed retirement and last night’s whiskey. The turn over isn’t as fast as expected, I guess twelve bucks an hour starts looking great when you’re staring straight into the mouth of foreclosure. Me, I can’t imagine having more than a lease and some bills, never mind kids and grandkids to worry about. So this morning when management brought Wayne by, sat him down and made sure he knew where the bathrooms were, I smelled retirement. I smelled sawdust and grease in a garage during summer evenings. I smelled fresh cut pine and the morning cup of coffee, but most of all, I smelled disappointment.


Shannon Peil gets published occasionally some places but rejected from others. He edits for people who actually know what they're doing here.