Day laborer for a day

The rush of sports cars speeding down Coldwater Canyon into Beverly Hills shatters the quiet. The twin bed in front of me looks inviting and my tired muscle could use a rest. Today was spent building scaffolding, which involved humping braces, headers and aluminum I beams joists.

My pinkish skin, bruised knuckles and callous hands proves that I can physically work. Those I beams got lighter as the day progressed; they were heavy during the morning but as the coastal breeze swept across West Hollywood the air was invigorating. The men I worked with hauled lumber and labored under the strains of forged aluminum beams. I worked hard and could pick up and move 12-foot beams but only with the aid of leverage and even then I could do little more than drop the beams off my shoulder. Meanwhile those around me would pick up those same beams and throw them a distance.

The word Mexican has connotations of laziness but from my experience, they are the hardest workers. They build our condos, wait our tables and valet park our cars and yet somehow this isn't enough. Somehow these people who work two and three job to survive are still considered inferior.

That is the funny thing about stereotypes; they are always generalizations. They are either stealing our jobs or too lazy to work. Which one is it, because it can't be both. And neither can I. My whole life I worked manual labor jobs but today I realized I can no longer do this. My hands have grow weak and my calluses have given way to smooth skin.

I go to bed knowing that I no longer belong at a construction site as a laborer; equally so I don't belong in Beverly Hills. I'm still looking for home. But right now I'd settle for the sports cars to quite driving so fast, my tired muscles want to sleep and today I earned my nights rest. Today, I was a day laborer but only for a day.