The Works

by Jerry Ratch


The woman in green doesn't want to encounter the meter maid who is actually a man and so waits to one side at the newspaper racks as if purchasing a paper while that person writes the parking ticket (this city needs that money) and drives away in his little machine.

She comes out of the store but waits to one side.

If he doesn't keep writing these tickets the Works will stop. She waits to one side, not to stop him. The Works must go on or they will stop if he doesn't keep writing, there will be no money in the coffers and no job. And anyway people will begin parking rampantly and everywhere, middle of the streets and everywhere, and there will be chaos. The traffic comes to a halt and people stop shopping. They stay home. They won't go out in the streets, and the Writing and Art stops, and it is pure chaos. That's right.

Things get bad. Interest rates rising, Recession leading into Depression. Streets vacant, only rats and bums and weeds. Broken glass in the streets. Weed-choked sidewalks. Unborn children backing up in peoples' veins. High divorce rate, no marriage possible until this is over.

What a relief when it ends!

That's not why she's waiting for the meter-maid-man to go away. She doesn't want to encounter anyone. She's afraid of a Scene and it's not like her, it's not in her nature, she is not the type of person to make a Scene. Even though at first she may have wanted to rip up that ticket right under his nose. Maybe setting it on fire right there. Create a Scene.

But the Police come and she has to explain things. She gets tired then and doesn't explain and they take her away. Her shoulders slump in her pretty green blouse with her matching green earrings hanging down. She comes out of the designer furniture store and creates a Scene and then is taken away.

She does not want to disturb the peace in this way though she may have wanted to once when she was younger. One does not disturb the peace when one gets older, one wants peace. No one wants to get hurt when they're older. When you're young you're eternal, you can't get hurt, so you can disturb the peace and everything.