Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Shape of Things That Were

Well, I had plans on discussing the latest film with the craziest title--I should write the copy, fer cry-eye, SHE'S UNDERAGE AND UNDEAD!--or exactly why Billy Ray Cyrus had his own Marvel comic in the 1990s. But earlier tonight I heard of yet more lay-offs at the print shop. Everything seemed to go to hell when the place moved from Alsip to Oak Forest. The place ran 24 hours 6 days a week, then slowly everyone saw their hours drop as the place closed at midnight, then 10 PM, and now, evidently, everyone will be gone by 5 or 6 PM. I have fonder memories of the printing plant in its old building, when I never really knew how long my shift would be on a daily basis. When I first started, it was for the 4-midnight shift, and I loved getting home at 1 AM and staying up until 4 or 5 because I knew I could sleep in. But that changed after about a year and, well, working days vs. nights is one thing, but working nights was like me and three other people, tops. And so it is that within the last year, I've seen everyone I once worked the night shift with gone, and it just makes me a bit wistful for 2006 and 2007 again. I add the photo of Wilson my roll of yellow paper at the bottom because the digital press I called my machine was the last one to leave the old building and so I was the last one to leave the old building, for two weeks last March, I was the only one at 128th and LaPorte, twelve hours a day. I needed something to keep me company, so, like Tom Hanks in CASTAWAY, I found me a roll of press paper and spent some lonely hours kicking Wilson around and practicing some skills I'd likely never use again. One of my favorite memories from the old building, it was right next to a small wooded area near the Cal Sag Channel, was when I walked out the back door at 2 AM and saw a deer beneath a full moon. I'll always remember that.