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  • Jay Horita

You'll Get Yours Too, One Day

This short post is dedicated to everyone who is affected by the Federal government shutdown - and really anyone who is going through a tough time paying the bills, feeding mouths, and staying afloat: Keep at it yall.



A Fedex truck speeds past a recently-renovated two-story home, and a minute later, the driver rushes up to the front door.

“Hey man, got one for ya!”

He’s Asian, dark skin, and has the same inexplicably upbeat aura of my SE Asian friends. He’s hustling - probably has 20 more deliveries to make before lunch to stay on schedule.


“Ah man, this ain’t my place,” I replied. “Wish it were mine though… haha” I let out a deflated laugh and get back to shoveling.


He puts the box down (looks heavy) behind the porch and glances over at me:

“You’ll get yours too, one day.”

With that, he flies off the house’s front steps, flashes a shaka, and speeds away in his rickety tin can on wheels at 40 mph.


You’ll get yours too, one day. Shaka. 🤙

I rolled that scene around and around in my head: Huh… what a concept. You know what? Yeah I might - a whole house, all to my own. But before an idle minute passes, I go back to shoveling: can’t let boss man see me taking a break.


...


It’s Jan 21st today, MLK day. I got 10 more days until my once a month paycheck. A $200 car registration renewal put me under this month, so that’s why today, you can find me on a corner in NE Portland, pulling weeds and spreading mulch for a neighbor.

Right now, it’s a bit hard to think of owning a house, especially with the government shutdown leaving my Forest Service buddies and I with a very bad taste in our mouths. I’ve got other thin-


OUCH!! Blackberry vines poke straight through my old gardening gloves - the same gloves I used on a trail crew years ago...


I’ve got other things - rent, groceries, the utilities this month are higher because it’s January. Shoot it’s January! My birthday’s in 10 days… I promised my friends I’d go out with them... another $30 gone. Student loans?

I fill up my 8th bag with pulled weeds and vines, soil and leaves.


You’ll get yours too, one day. Shaka.




The scene keeps playing over and over in my head.


Himalayan blackberry. Student loans.

English ivy, gas/water/electric utilities.

Some pain-in-the-butt weed, cell phone bill.


You’ll get yours too, one day. Shaka.


I take off my hat and my fogged up glasses. Reaching towards the sky, I stretch out my aching back, and I look up at the winter sun beaming down. The buds are coming out on the trees I pruned just last week. An irregular, low thumping sound is above me, and I look up to a pair of scrub jay birds picking at dead trees for a grubby lunch. They look happy, chatting away with each other:


“Crazy weekend, dude!” “Yeah man, what a total bender

“Where’d you find out about this tree anyway? It’s LOADED with juicy grub. What a deal.”

“Yelp, dude.”


I look down. The earthy smell of freshly dug-up soil is wafting up. I close my eyes - big inhale, longer exhale. My breathe, visible in the brisk winter afternoon, slowly climbs up towards the sky and disappears in silvery wisps.


It’s all just weeds, man.


I’m smiling, as I put my head down and go back to shoveling mulch and pulling weeds, kicking ass.


You’ll get yours too, one day. Shaka.

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