of before, a fratad. “A Mediterranean breakfast sandwich,” he said. His
asymmetrical smile revealed a dozen crooked teeth.
The sun got higher as a ribbon of new concrete went down, heading
north to the 63rd Street bridge. Its white-pigmented curing compound
made it look regal in the bleached late afternoon, a new thoroughfare
linking the boondocks of Woodridge to the civility of Elk Grove Village.
Junior was in and out of his dirty Crown Vic, making sure the paver
didn’t stop, watching the belt placer leading to the augers that spread the
concrete evenly, warning the finishers not to overuse the bull floats. He
kept making circles between the paver and the batch plant up near Ma-
ple. By then I had finished my fratad and had the radio on. Around three
thirty I heard Junior on channel 3A. “Start cutting off trucks, John.”
“Because you’re almost at the end, John. We only need seven more
loads, and you’re running seven trucks, OK?”
There was a pause full of static. “OK.”
“And don’t let any of them wash out on the shoulder. Asphalt goes
there tomorrow. Take them to the plant for that.”
Another pause. “Whatever,” said Johnny I.