Fluid Transfer Permit

Working nights. No end in sight. 

Walk the lineup, kick the pump on, feel the fluid inside the pipe, watch the numbers on the gauge. Heed cavitation’s gravelly roar, kill the pump, close the valves, walk upstairs, pour and clutch a cup of coffee. 

Answer the truck driver’s call. Walk the line, check the hose, tell him, “Build pressure and send it.” Open valves. Feel the hose, tell the board operator fluid’s in the line, watch the hose jump when the pump kicks on.

Sit on the pipe where it nineties under the heater, feel hot water rushing inside steel, sip coffee, close my eyes. 

Breathe. 

Twenty minutes til the transfer’s done. Try to ponder plot, story, character. 

Find they’re flushed from my brain, leaving behind only full and empty, open and closed. 

Wonder, Can I write here? 

Grab my phone and thumb type.

It’s not much, but it’s something.


© Copyright 2021 by Jim Latham
Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash