“But I don’t want to sweep streets, Father.”
“First thing you learn as a street sweeper. One spends very little time actually sweeping. The Union has seen to that.”
“What do you do if you don’t sweep?”
“There is the Cigarette Break. It’s in your contract, you get fifteen Cigarette Breaks per day. No stipulation as to how long a break may last. Jorge Chiapa, my colleague, he hasn’t gone to work in three years. He is still clocked out on a smoke break.
“There is the Water Fountain Visit.
“There is the Checking One’s Mailbox.
“There is the Call of Nature, # 1.
“There is the Call of Nature, #2.
“There is the Mandatory Rest for the Tired Feet.”
“Your feet must get awfully tired taking all those breaks. Does anyone in this profession actually sweep the streets, ever?”
“Well. Have you seen the streets?”
Zoqueto glanced Fallward up the Rúa dos Suspiros. He then twisted his head and surveyed the scene Fromward.
Scene: wind-whipped papers, dead kits, pile of rotten oranges, ruins of fruitstand, scrap metal, hubcaps. A pair of skis.
“Now,” his father said. “Isn’t this something you would enjoy not having to clean up?”