workzine

Sean Davis, 9/14/2009

Current Occupation: Account Manager, Film Maker, Life Coach, Test Pilot

Former Occupation: Security Guard

Contact Information: Sean Davis is a Portland writer with a tendency to focus on characters that are weird, lonely and hold a skewed view of the world. In 2004 P-Town Independent Press published 1,000 copies of his dark comedic novel Motivation and Toleration which sold out at local book stores in a little over a year. Sean won the Editor’s Choice Award at Ooligan Press in 2008 and again in 2009 for his short fiction. He is one of two writers to ever win consecutive Editor’s Choice awards. His short stories have appeared in local zines such as The P-Town Ripple, Reflections, and Pathos Literary Magazine. He lives in the Alberta neighborhood with his beautiful wife and daughters. You can see more of his work here: www.ptownsean.wordpress.com

Sean Davis, Security Guard

Sean Davis, Security Guard

Waiting on a Sandwich

I’m the guy dressed up with a fake badge, in clothes borrowed from an airline pilot. I’m sitting at a desk as people walk by oblivious to my existence until they see something they don’t like.

A man talks on a blue tooth while eating an ice cream cone. He wears a bike helmet as he walks through the lobby of the building and into the elevator. His tongue explores the outside of the big scoop like a blind worm. Deep from inside his throat he is saying yes, a small laugh, yes again. He walks straight into an open elevator and disappears.

I get a call over the radio that a transient is bothering people in front of Whole Foods.

Every male panhandler I chase off the blocks tells me that they are an Iraqi War vet. This one has a tattoo of a bird on his neck, the right side, left as I’m looking at him. He says he’ll leave soon. He’s only waiting for his friend.

His friend is inside buying him a sandwich.

I tell him that he can’t panhandle on the Brewery Blocks.

He says that he’s diabetic and if he doesn’t eat…

He doesn’t finish the sentence.

I tell him that he can’t panhandle on the Brewery Blocks.

He says that he’s just arrived five minutes ago and that there was another guy panhandling on the other bench for an hour and a half before him.

I say that I must have missed him, but I would have told him the same thing.

He says he was a marine for ten years and he was in Iraq. His guts were blown out of him. He was in the top part of a humvee.

I say that is horrible and tell him I was in Iraq. I ask where he was hit.

He says the Green Zone.

I say I was in the Green Zone. I ask where he was hit.

He says he’ll leave as soon as his friend comes out with his sandwich he’ll be out in five minutes.

We stand on the corner not talking to each other for a couple minutes.

A dog tied to a bike rack barks at me.

I say that not even the dogs around here like the security guards.

Again he tells me that his friend is buying him a sandwich.

I tell him that I used to volunteer at the Vet Center and if he really is a veteran they have resources.

He tells me fuck resources, he does it himself. Then he puts the change I saw him panhandle into his pocket.

Safe keeping.

He does it himself he tells me and because of that he picked Carhartt jeans and jacket. They are warmer.

Thicker too I say.

Thicker too he says.

His cap is hunter-camouflage and his goatee is nicely trimmed. He tells me the only family he has left is an aunt and uncle in Eugene but he doesn’t have the money to take the bus down there. It only costs 22 dollars.

I tell him if he calls the Vet Center that they would help him.

He pulls out his cell phone and asks me the number.

I tell him.

He looks like he is dialing the number.

I walk away to give him some privacy, so he doesn’t embarrass himself. I walk down the street to Burnside and watch some construction workers in reflective vests dig up a strip of pavement. I smell diesel fumes and hear the loud jackhammer pounding. The dog behind me barks some more. The sun feels warm. I walk back to the bench in front of Whole Foods and he is gone.

I return to the desk in the lobby. The elevator rings and its female voice says first floor, going up. The man with the bike helmet walks out, his ice cream gone. I sit down


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