The beginning of any story seems to be the simplest part of said story; nothing is further from the truth, even the story of me is filled with moments of complication. Who is LJ Franken? When viewed from the lens of billionaires, celebrity status, and the powerful, I am nobody. Until that fateful day in September, I was a milkman. After the towers fell, I was transformed into a killer. A focused razor of my nation’s rage. However, I have sprinted down a rabbit trail or as we say in Mississippi, I have my cart ahead of my horse.
The beginning has me standing in front of the union steward, Hooker and my supervisor, Tucker.
“Did you have to beat down your co-worker,” Hooker asks. I shrug nonchalantly. As far as I am concerned it’s just another day at a job that has no future. Tucker sighs. He is really good at feigning he is put out by my antics.
“You’re always in trouble, Franken. Why am I not surprised you beat down your help?”
“Both of you idiots act like I whooped him for no reason. Did you miss the part where he spit in my face?”
Tucker sighs and crosses his arms. Hooker shakes his head in frustration. Neither seems to be on my side of the conflict. Finally, Hooker moves close to me and gets to the meat of the matter.
“Franken, you know that the guy you ‘whooped’ is a minority, right? How do you think this will play out in this community that is 70% minorities?”
My lips pull back in a sneer and my brow furrows. “Who cares? If you’re dumb enough to spit in a man’s face, you deserve to get beat down, regardless of your race.”
Tucker nods his head. “You leave us no choice, Franken. You are suspended without pay for two weeks. Get your gear, security will escort you to your vehicle.”
I turn and walk out of The Clabber Wagon for the last time. “Screw it, I’ll join the Army.” I had no idea how fateful those words would turn out to be.