Right out of high school, the impressionable years.
I got a job, saved my paychecks to pay for college.
Ate 7-11’s two for a dollar hot dogs for every meal.
Drank a quart of milk in the morning, a quart at night.
Gave my summers to the place, heavy labor in the sun,
in the rain, humidity, strawberry flies and greenheads.
All hours of the night, delivering to the shore towns
of Margate, Ventnor, Longport and Atlantic City.
Other days we went to Philly, Medford, Cherry Hill.
He always bought lunch. I was always ready to go.
On weekends we’d fish all day in Bay and drink
Stroh’s beer with clients to line up more business.
His wife worked alongside us prepping equipment,
loading trucks, staging the orders and wearing the
same uniform- brown pants, tan shirts, work boots.
She taught me to drive stick shift in a 20 foot truck.
She showed me how to change the oil in the vans.
She gave me a few lessons on how to change a flat.
On my last day, she arranged a ride for me back to
college in a truck delivering an order to the Hyatt.
I remember crying as I said goodbye to them and
when the van pulled away, I never saw them again.
Years later, he told me they’d gotten divorced.
He’s got a new business, she lives with her girlfriend.