Perks of the Job
by Lauri Kubuitsile
The Woolworth’s window reflects the knife-edge pleats in his trousers and the crimson belt cinching his waist creating the allusion of wide shoulders; Jomo nods approval. Initially the handcuffs gave him a lot of excitement, but the flash wore off. The unassuming dependability of a straight pleat and tidy red belt should not be discounted.
As he walks his circuit, security gates clang shut, one after the other. People trickle out of the mall shouting, “Tomorrow, Jomo!” until he’s alone.
His favourite time.
He walks one leg at a time of the giant X of the ground floor; up one side, down the other. Bookstore, jewellery shop, cheap clothes boutique, expensive one. Things Jomo has no use for.
The ground floor finished; it’s now time.
During the day, he only uses the stairs. Happiness should not to be squandered. He approaches it slowly, drawing out the anticipation, listening for the confident noise of it, a smooth, slight metallic clinking. Uncertainty before stepping on thrills him. Would he miss and be pulled from his feet? Not today.
Carried like a king; raised in the air. A gift given, expecting nothing in return; little of that seen in Jomo’s short life, and he is appreciative.
At the top, the machine’s innards gobble up the stairs- would he be gobbled up too? One step and he’s saved- yet again. He heads off on the first arm of the second floor’s mirrored X, smiling, for there’s still the ride down.