Fiction | December 11, 2020

Not All That White

Everyone on the raising gang notices when the journeyman connector, Joseph Bogoslavsky, reaches into his fifty-pound leather tool belt for four massive bolts and then sinks them, one by one, into the steel corner beams, his toes balancing on a two-inch ledge ninety-four floors above the street.

But no one sees him dive headfirst into thirteen hundred feet of open gray mist, his legs trailing behind him like loose streamers.

The crane operator, Butch Barlow, who had the best view of the site, contended months later in a sworn legal deposition that yes, he had seen Bogoslavsky connecting the beams, but then Butch had to look the other way to guide another eight-ton beam down to the deck under the direction of the lead connector—“Tuck, uh, what’s his name, you know, the big Indian guy. I was having a little problem with this Tuck guy,” Butch said, “on account of attitude and him signaling me I was coming in too fast, so I slowed it and laid that sucker down real gentle, like it was a feather on a baby’s ass. When I look over my shoulder, this Bogo guy was gone, so help me God.”

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