the sentence should be working in from the left.


In the spring of 1996, after my freshman year of college, I came back to my hometown and sat around for a little while and my parents said "Great, Ryan, you completed a year of college, now why don't you get a job" and I shrugged my shoulders and sat on the recliner that my mother gave my father for father's day but that only she is allowed to sit on and I read Steinbeck's Winter of Our Discontent, and I thought wow isn't it really something the way that simple working man became corrupt, but did so in a way that makes sense and was almost excusable, because we all need to make a buck and I guess sometimes robbing your boss and a bank and letting your best friend drink himself to death is worth it if you can take care of your family and give them the level of comfort and a nice Pontiac, like they deserve, and I thought how great is it that both my parents do that, just working and working so I can sit back here on this chair and relax, but I knew that any more than three weeks sitting on my ass like that would be trouble, so at my parents suggestion after I finished reading I looked in the Old Colony Memorial for job listings and I found one that said Ice Cream Truck Vendor Wanted, so I called, left a message, and put down the newspaper, and had dinner, knowing full well that I would get the job because my karma just works like that, which is depressing, really, because if it's just that easy and my karma simply works like that then it means someone else's karma is consistently bad, and their life is crappy because of what someone did further back along the life cycle, which isn't really their fault because they wouldn't remember it and because no one around here really believes in karma anyways, since we believe in capitalism, mostly, and a whole system of values that comes along with it that we never really think about, but either way I still needed to get a job, so when my parents asked I said, 'I'm going to drive an Ice Cream Truck, and they said, "sure, son, we're behind you a hundred percent... except that you are insane, so why don't you forget this fantasy nonsense and actually get a job instead of humoring us,

and then the next day, to my parent's surprise, Jay called and I went down to Hyannis and picked up my ice cream truck, along with a full stock of ice cream and a map of my route in Wareham, and I was very excited about it even though I didn't have much business during that first week, but that was partially because school was still in session for the kids, it being early May and all, so I stuck with it and by late June I was working 70 hour weeks, cruising around town in my pimp ride every day, making 150 dollars easy unless it was raining, and sometimes going home at two thirty, and the whole time just cruising and thinking about people and fiction and enjoying the sporadic company of children and cute girls on the beach or content neighborhood families, and I would eat a Choco Taco almost every day and soak up the sunshine, although I must admit I didn't get to see my friends much, 

robert crumb

but I usually felt like it was worth it, what with the beauty of the houses and the harbor in Onset, and the habitual weaving of the truck in and out of the parallel streets down by Switf's Beach in the early evening, and  since I was making great cash for such fun work, enough cash to buy a four track and a lot of Bickford's  and to put some into savings also, but also of course sometimes Virgil would come down and drive with me and bring subs and soda, or I would pay my brother to come out and work with me when I knew business would be booming, like on the fourth of July, that same night that the engine on the '74 Chevy StepVan overheated and I blew a head gasket and drove home anyways, which took a long-ass time, and I had to use Jonas's phone to call home and get a ride, leaving the truck in downtown Plymouth, so later that night most of the ice dream melted, but still I worked all summer and then went back to school and got the truck again for the following summer, except this time I shared the job with Joshua, and each of us made pretty good money for a while and had plenty of time off, because that summer we lived so fat that it hurt, but having a lot of time off made us start to get lazy, so we never went out, and finally in late August just before we destroyed the Omni and as Josh and Dan were looking for jobs in Boston, since they were moving up there along with me to our first apartment, we returned the truck to Hyannis and  we were pretty sure we were done with vending forever, and up until now that has turned out to be true, although we have returned to Wareham a couple of times by choice to explore the old route and to see the sights and to have a meal at Mark Antony's, which is exactly what we did this past summer, for example, when Josh and I took a ride on his Honda and played some chess on the tables in that park in upper Onset, and then we walked down to main street because he wanted to get a haircut, but it was four-fifteen and the guy in the barber shop said he was closing in about fifteen minutes and Josh said "That's not my problem, buddy" on the way out the door, under his breath, and I said it wasn't really a problem for the guy either, he was closing up a bit early by choice, but Josh said that choice was costing him business, so it was a bad one, and we got into this argument-chat about it and I said maybe people want to have families and hobbies and spend time doing other things, not keep their businesses open all the time, and if it's inconvenient for you then tough luck, I guess, and he saw what I meant, I think, but he seemed to want the world to be consistently efficient in a way that conformed to his needs and I imagined that one day he would discover a whole other kind of efficiency where everyone's priorities are equal, including his own, and then we could just walk around all the time and buy ice cream whenever the truck happened to come along, and then we would keep walking, or maybe sit down and eat it together.