Episode 4. Part 2 of “The Introduction”
Also there was the long-shortcut to the foundry.
His little eyes spying through the window.
Alex was not to be allowed inside
but he could see the furnace
that reached through
When the man opened the furnace door
Alex could feel the immense heat
right through the window.
The red hot iron flowed down a trough
into piglet shaped forms.
The men, filthy from the grimy work,
moved the piglets with long tongs.
The sweat ran down their bodies
leaving clean streaks
where the dirt
Even when sitting at home Alex would take long-shortcuts.
These were mental trips to imaginary work shops
that created things.
The genesis of these excursions was the wonderment
of the ornate trims around the doorways
and windows of his parent’s home,
the banisters of the staircase,
the detailed cast iron stove
in the kitchen.
Oh, that bright green porcelain which decorated the stove,
and finally, if not fearfully, the giant octopus
whose tentacles reached from the cellar
to heat every room in the house.
And, of course, the coal gas
treating the entire family
to a terrible headache
at least once per year.
Alex did not imagine all of these workshops correctly,
but he did get the majority of them right.
And why wouldn’t he? For Alex had
all sorts of workshops
in his neighborhood.
a neighborhood automobile mechanic,
working in a his own driveway,
an electrical generating plant,
which exploded every year,
a cobbler repairing shoes,
a golf ball factory,
a candy factory,
a farmer’s field,
a shoe factory,
a RR trestle
(with five very tall piers that carried the trains over the Susquehanna River on their way to New York, Scranton and Buffalo, a smoke belching railroad engine whose engineer tooted every time Alex waved at him)
and lastly, a factory that made felt in large swirling baths.
It was a wonderland