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Sunday, August 23, 2015

White Shirt Blues

I can never keep a white shirt clean
Be it food dirt or other
Some foul substance will stain it

I blame the weight loss
For if I had not lost those seventy-five pounds
Then I never would have fit into this space

Aluminum walls sprayed with shiny white polyurethane
Covered in brown anti-corrosion coating
In turn bathed in all the greasy oily dirt
That a jumbo Boeing aircraft can kick up with its tires

The ten years passage
Since I had last fit into this vertical coffin shaped place
Had clouded my memory
Erasing the difficulty level of squeezing past the nose landing gear assembly
With the flat wall of the wheel well to your back
While stepping sideways on odd bits of structure
And carefully squeezing one's belly and clothing past sharp edges to the front

First came a crimson smear just below my breast
As the red grease from a fitting pressed hard against me
Slowly making a teacher's correction mark upon the blank white of my shirt
Distracting me so
That I missed a sharp pigtail end of twenty thousandths safety wire
Looping incompletely off of the downlock sensor canon plug
Allowing it to pierce the snowy fabric of the t-shirt
Tearing fibers gently
Until finally pricking my skin
And making me notice its action
Drawing a drop of blood as price of passage

In the confining area at last
Giving the area a five minute inspection with mirror and flashlight
Fulfilling the requirements of my task card
Which clearly state:
"Visual inspection performed within touching distance"
I'm left to ponder my results

A cut belly
Bruised chest
Grease and blood on the front of my shirt
Dirt, oil, and the odd sticky substance on the back

A pressing need to pee
And the validation that I can't keep a white shirt clean to save my life