Fucking Piece of Pork Chop

cow

Construction at Queen’s Park station this morning. They’ve blocked off an escalator and gutted the bottom platform. Greasy machinery is exposed. Two men are standing in the fenced-off area, wearing work clothes and looking matter-of-factly at the passing commuters. Their aspects are sullen. One of them stands up straight as a nail, with long dirty black hair that sticks out like a lion’s mane, his hands on the escalator rails. The other is shorter and stands to his side, leaning heavily on a wall, his arm stretched out for support. He is bald and his eyes are framed by thick glasses.

The second man looks at the first and sticks a finger in his mouth, digging it into his teeth.

“I’ve got a fucking piece of pork chop stuck in there,” he says. “From last night. It won’t come out. It’s huge. It’s… the size of a cow.”

The statement strikes me as awkward: I want him to say “the size of the cow it came from,” and think of this compulsively the whole way up the stairs. The sound of children filters down from above, an anticipatory rebounding noise which leads me to believe that the whole room is filled with them, spread out on the ground and eating lunches pulled from polystyrene bags. “Children know where pork chops come from,” I think. “It’s likely that the man does too, but when you’re a child you think about origins more than anyone else.” I crest the stairwell and am surprised to see that the children only account for a thin single-filed line snaking through the turnstiles and making their way down the opposite staircase to the station below.

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