Tuesday, August 26, 2008
My first job was in the t-shirt factory. The thesis to my textilian studies was on the fine art of t-shirt removal, so I was immediately placed in charge of the testing department. The cotton garments, newly seamed, must be worn once, then removed, to assure proper function. This was the process I oversaw. The models, men in the morning, women the afternoons, paraded single file past my station. Each took a shirt from a fresh pile, tucked it on, turning and pausing before me, awaiting delivery of my contribution. I certified the tautness of the cotton coverings on bodies not much younger than mine. When satisfied, it remained for me to remove the shirt and, if no complications ensued, add a sticker - "inspected by 1." Then the slightest lull - my voyeuristic limbo: before waving the model on I stole a glance going from navel to neck, admiring the disclosed magnificence of bodily form. Men by morning. Women the afternoons. By lunchtime the flesh had me stimulated. After an industrious day, I walked home aroused into breathless gasps. It was fine while it lasted.
The cutthroat world of t-shirt manufacture left its scars on this paradise. Layoffs ensued, to ensure competitiveness. Beautiful models, no more than twenty years old, took early retirement. It was demoralizing. Now my workdays were spent at an assembly line. The shirts came by, flung onto showroom dummies, my job to undress in the measured seconds they wobbled into reach. I pulled the garments from plaster torsos scarred and scuffed from industrial use. It was a steady, repetitive rhythm, like an eight hour copulation that fails to arouse.
Soon the dummies were gone, too expensive to clean and maintain. Costs cut everywhere. Lights dimmed because of bulbs so costly. I stood alone in the factory, like a visual soliloquy, testing the shirts, pulling them on, peeling them off, a work that tires the arms, but the quota required my constant motion. After a few hours I could no longer stand, arched myself onto the floor. Dressed. Bared. Dressed. Bared. And on and off and on. Dazed from a day of this, and oblivious to anything touching my numbed skin, I walked home, my bare-breasted physique greeting the evening breeze.
This photo appears by kind courtesy of Jonas Skerra. In the next weeks you may enjoy more of his photography at his new site: Photorama of Jonas.