Stories and photographs by Jim Hamerlinck©2009, 2010, 2011

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wrong, All Wrong

Blue Beam, Fremont, 2009

The memo informed John that the promotion would go to Davis, not him.

This news surprised John. He was certain that he would get it. He had been given every indication by his boss that the promotion was his to lose. The interview had gone very well. Everyone liked him. Everyone. His production was up. He hadn’t missed a day of work all year. Not one day.

But it was Davis, not him, who was named the new assistant.


“How can this be?” he wondered. “I’ve done every thing they’ve asked. Everything. What has Davis done?”

That evening after work, Davis approached John in the parking lot as he was getting into his car. John decided that he would avoid Davis. “Just look straight ahead,” he told himself.

Before he could escape, though, Davis stepped in front of the car and tapped on its hood. John could not ignore him. He took a deep breath and rolled down the window. “Davis,” he said.

“John,” smiled Davis. “I’m glad I caught you before you left.”

“What is it, Davis?”

“I just wanted to say…well…I just, ah….”

“Congratulations on the promotion, Davis,” John said.

“Thanks, John. I know it must be hard--”

“Tell me, Davis,” interrupted John, “what have you done?”


“What have you done in the time you’ve been here?” asked John.

“I’ve done everything they’ve asked,” replied Davis.

“Have you?” said John.

“Yes,” confirmed Davis. “Everything.”

John fiddled with the zipper of his jacket. A squirrel scampered across the parking lot with what looked to be a piece of pumpkin pie in its mouth.

“Did you see that, Davis?”

“See what?” asked Davis.

“Never mind,” said John.


“I have to go, Davis. Things to do, you know.”

“Sure, John” said Davis. “I understand.”

John rolled up the window and drove off, ignoring Davis' wave.

On the way home, as snowflakes began to fall, John decided that his car needed washing. He pulled into a stall at the deserted Fremont Brown Bear and spent the next three hours there, under the harsh florescent lights, washing and rinsing his Prius and wondering what more he could have done.

Foam, Leary Way Northwest, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Aerialist

Blue Tarp 1, 2009

When are you going to fix the roof?

When the rain lets up a bit.

It’s not raining now.

It's not?


I need to get a few more materials. The right tools. I need to do some research. On the internet.

What were you just doing on the internet?

Looking at…pictures of…endangered wildlife.

There’s a leak in the bedroom now.

Yeah, I know.

And the bathroom.

Yes. I know.

You said you would fix it this weekend.

I'm organizing my thoughts.

Blue Tarp 2, 2009

Why don’t you just hire a contractor?

I told you I don’t trust contractors. They’ll just charge us for repairs we don’t really need. And they’ll take forever. I’ll do this myself and save us thousands of dollars.

Alright. When?

It's stopped raining?

Yes. The kitchen has a leak, too.

It does?



Should I call my brother?


Why not? He’ll help. He’s good. He wants to help.

I don’t need help. It’s a one man job.

You sure?

I’ll fix the roof.

You know what you’re doing?


You know what you're doing?

I might have to improvise.


Blue Tarp 3, 2009

© Jim Hamerlinck.All Rights Reserved.

  • “There's nothing to be gained from passive observance, the simple documenting of conditions, because, at its core, it sets a bad example. Every time something is observed and not fixed, or when one has a chance to give in some way and does not, there is a lie being told, the same lie we all know by heart but which needn't be reiterated.” Dave Eggers