trucks and moved them out of the way so that the D9 stood right behind
“You better get out of the way,” Carhartts said.
“Now why would I do that?” I said, thinking I had him checkmated.
The operator on the bulldozer opened up the throttle. Cat bulldozers
have a throttle and a decelerator pedal. The operator usually puts the
dozer at full throttle and uses the decelerator to reduce the speed of his
rig. So unless you hear a diminished roar from its humongous turbo-charged engine, it’s full speed ahead. Carhartts had no more to say. Now
I stood between the bulldozer and the boulder. The noise from the engine was deafening. The machine started creeping forward. The night
breeze whispered past me.
I had done a good job of continuing to ask Carhartts questions and
putting him and his bulldozer on the defensive. I had so thoroughly
confounded him that I would now get squished against this boulder,
this perfect specimen dug out of Mother Earth. The huge D9 got closer
and closer still, till it stopped two feet away.
Carhartts put himself directly in front of me, between me and the
huge dozer. “Want to get hurt?”
My heart was pounding. He was bigger than me, as solid as a can of
Dinty Moore beef stew. I had on a thin short-sleeved shirt that made me
look half-naked among a gang of well-armed barbarians. Even Lopat
and O’Malley wore Carhartts. I did not want to get run over. I felt only a
slight bond with Lopat and O’Malley. But I did feel a resistance to doing
something against my will. My insides told me to stay put.
At last I said to them all, “I don’t want to get run over. Your boss told
you to do this? Junior Palumbo told me to come here. So we’re just doing
what we’re told. If you run that thing over me, I’ll be in a funeral home.
You’ll be in custody.” I thought about that. “Only for a while. Then a
lawyer will get you out. Maybe your company lawyer. Maybe a union
lawyer. Then there will be legalese talk about trespassing and who owns
this rock. What will I get out of this? I don’t know. Maybe they’ll hang
a picture of me in Tom’s Steakhouse. You will have the satisfaction that
your three-hundred-and-fifty-horsepower dozer can squish someone.
Neither of us wins anything.”
He pushed a finger into my chest. With that one finger he had backed
me up into the boulder. Both my hands touched its solidness, its cool-
ness. I could hear him breathing. His chest heaved slightly underneath