THE CALL OF VULCAN

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Mr. Waturi: Joe.

Mr. Waturi: Joe?

Joe: Yeah!

Mr. Waturi:  Joe, you were at lunch 3 hours.

Joe: Yeah, about that….

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Mr. Waturi: That is company property, mister! Joe, don’t touch that! What are you doing?

Joe: I’m opening or closing the main drain.

Mr. Waturi: You shouldn’t be touching that!

Joe: Nothing happened. Do you know how long I’ve been wondering what would happen if I did that?

Mr. Waturi: What’s the matter with you?

Joe: Brain cloud.

Mr. Waturi: What?

Joe: Never mind. Listen, Frank… I quit.

Mr. Waturi: You mean today?

Joe: That’s right.

Mr. Waturi: Great. Don’t come looking for a reference from me.

Joe: OK, I won’t.

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Joe: Robinson Crusoe.

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Mr. Waturi: You blew this job!

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Joe: Romeo and Juliet.

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Mr. Waturi: You blew this job!

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Joe: The Odyssey.

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Joe: Ukulele.

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Joe: I’ve been working here 4 and 1/2 years. Work I probably could have done in 5 or 6 months. That leaves 4 years left over. 4 years! If I had them now…. like gold in my hand. Goodbye, Dede. Here, this is for you.

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Dede: You’re going?

Mr. Waturi: If you’re leaving, leave. You’ll get your check. And I promise you, you’ll be easy to replace.

Joe: I should say something.

Mr. Waturi: What are you muttering?

Joe: This life…. Life, what a joke. This situation, this room….

Mr. Waturi: Joe, maybe you should just go.

Joe: You look terrible, Mr. Waturi. You look like a bag of shit stuffed in a cheap suit. Not that anybody could look good under these zombie lights. I can feel them sucking the juice out of my eyeballs. Suck! Suck! Suck! Suck! 300 bucks a week. That’s the news…. For 300 bucks a week I’ve lived in this sink, this used rubber….

Mr. Waturi: You watch it, mister! There’s a woman here!

Joe: Don’t you think I know that, Frank? Don’t you think I’m aware there is a woman here? I can smell her, like a flower. I can taste her like sugar on my tongue. When I’m 20 feet away I can hear the fabric of her dress when she moves in her chair. Not that I’ve done anything about it. I’ve gone all day, every day not doing, not saying, not taking the chance for 300 dollars a week. And Frank, the coffee…. It stinks. It tastes like arsenic. These lights give me a headache. If they don’t give you a headache, you must be dead, so let’s arrange the funeral!

Mr. Waturi: You better get out of here, I’m telling you!

Joe: You’re telling me nothing.

Mr. Waturi: I’m telling you!

Joe: Why, I ask myself. Why have I put up with you? I can’t imagine. But I know. It’s fear. Yellow freaking fear. I’ve been too chickenshit to live my life, so I sold it to you for 300 freaking dollars a week! You’re lucky I don’t kill you. You’re lucky I don’t rip your fucking throat out! But I’m not going to! Maybe you’re not so lucky at that because I’m going to leave you here, Mr. Wahoo Waturi. What could be worse than that?

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Excerpt from Joe Vs The Volcano, 1990

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2 Responses to “THE CALL OF VULCAN”

  1. when i read this i loved it, thankyou:)

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