As Long As You Need – Tyler Peterson
January 1, 2021
They were in the breeding building and it was hot and smelly. Carter was making his rounds and looking over his shoulder at Danny periodically.
The day had gotten off on the wrong foot. Danny was crashing on Carter’s couch at the moment as he had been doing for the past 6 weeks since Cecily had tossed him out. One day Carter had brought home the news that the farm was hiring. A bunch of people had quit or just stopped showing up after the big covid scare they’d had. Spence had given the supervisors the go-ahead to take some more people on. Carter told Danny he could get him an interview as soon as the next day.
Danny’d heard this and gotten excited. He’d been passing Carter a couple 20s every now and again from odd jobs he was doing around town. Each time with a downcast mumble that he wished he could give him some more. He was so happy with the prospect of steady work that he went out that night and did his drinking at Donna’s for a change. Insisted on treating Carter to a few rounds and talked all evening about turning a new corner in his life. Carter had left around 10:30. Told him don’t get too drunk ok? You gotta be there bright and squirrelly. Of course the fuckin guy never came home and Carter had fumed all the way to work smacking the steering wheel only to pull up and find Carter waiting at the front gate. The guy he was getting a ride from had punked out on him and so he’d done the responsible thing and slept in a dry culvert down the road from the farm.
Carter had been ready to give Danny an epic bitchout but now since everything had worked out he had to swallow it and take Danny into the office as originally planned. All that anger was just was sitting behind his eyes like 2 bundles of rocks. Made him feel slow and distracted. He awkwardly walked Danny through the interview spiel he gave to everybody. Gave Danny a set of clothes and took him to the shower. When Danny stepped out he looked a lot better although since there was no shampoo you could still faintly smell cigarettes in his hair.
He gave Danny a tour of the operations. Brood floor. Battery cage racks. Feed hoppers. Growout house. Danny widened his eyes attentively and nodded a lot. Carter looked him over carefully. He was in all likelihood still drunk and Carter wasn’t sure whether to believe he’d really slept either. He looked Danny over for signs that he was having difficulty keeping up or falling into one of his weird moods. He seemed okay so far.
In midmorning Carter had some rounds to do and he handed Danny off to Jofre who continued the whole routine while Carter half paid attention from the far side of the room. Carter watched Danny as Jofre showed him what he would be doing if he got hired on here. The layers were all restrained in racks in front of them and Jofre was going up to the bird on the far end of the rack and directing Danny’s gaze to an area on the underside of the animal. He gave the section a little squeeze with practiced hands. The whole cloaca turned inside out and the cervix popped in front of his face like the eyes on one of those stress dolls you squeeze. Danny was tickled pink by this. He laughed in a strange high-pitched tone. Maintained a steady hahahahahahaha at that exact same tone for a really long time. Asked Jofre to do it again and he did. At Jofre’s prompting he gently took the bird by the abdomen and tried it himself. In a couple of goes he got it. He laughed and laughed like a kid at the circus. Made the cervix pop out over and over while saying bloop bloop. Jofre then picked up the pipette and plunked it right in the cervix and Danny just couldn’t handle this. Carter looked at Jofre for signs that Jofre was getting weirded out but if there was any discomfort there Jofre didn’t show it. He guessed it was pretty funny when you thought about it.
Carter went to lunch after that and didn’t see Danny again for the rest of the day. In the afternoon he found some pretext to wander into the front office. Judy was there pecking thoughtfully at the computer. Carter asked her what happened to the skinny guy. Oh your friend, Judy said.
Carter was privately a little annoyed Danny had revealed that information. He didn’t want to be known around as the kind of guy who was always trying to get his friends jobs. The hires such a person tended to bring in were awful. Usually only lasted a few days before either flaking or making some horrendous fuckup. He knew Spence didn’t like it.
But Judy said that Spence had hired him on. Carter was taken aback but okay. That was what he’d wanted after all. Judy said she’d given Danny the new hire paperwork. Well where was Danny now Carter asked. Danny had taken the paperwork home, Judy said. He had to be someplace and was going to bring it back in when he started tomorrow.
Carter said thank you and left the office trailer saying what the fuck under his breath. He clocked out as soon as he could get away with it and tore off down Highway 27 keeping his eyes peeled on the shoulder. Sure enough there was Danny’s bony form. From the back with his long skinny legs and big puffy Carhartt jacket he looked like some sort of scarecrow puppet dangling on the string with his legs just ambling lightly along the ground making the motions of walking.
Carter pulled over and Danny said hey and got into his truck without another word. They drove along for a little while. Danny was quiet. But he was usually quiet. Nothing in Danny’s expression suggested there was any burning topic to talk about between them.
Finally Carter asked well where’s your paperwork. Oh that Danny said as if he had just remembered. I pitched that. Threw it into a creek. Carter waited a bit and then asked if Danny was going to take the job. Danny did not treat this like the stupid question it was.
No, Danny said, I’m really not. Wish I could but I can’t. You see Jofre brought me to this pile of sick birds and they started to wring em. Danny illustrated this point with his fist clenched and a snapping motion in his wrist. Jofre told me to start wringing, Danny said. Your boss Spence was there too so I knew I had to impress im. Well I picked up this bird. Sick. Mouth popping open and shut. I picked it up and whirled it around. It flapped some. I whirled it around again harder and the thing got real agitated. I got spooked and I whirled it around and around and around. Fuckin bird’s neck stretched out about 3 times longer and it wouldn’t die. It was still blinking and opening its mouth and looking up at me. I was having a panic attack about how much I was making this bird suffer. No one asks for that in life you know? No one needs that. It was making my heart race and all I could do was whirl harder. Didn’t know what I was doing. I think I would have whirled that bird’s head right the fuck off if Spence hadn’t stopped me. That’s good he said. You’ll get the hang of it.
Danny relayed all this while staring straight ahead at the road. His voice was involved and animated as he told the story while his body sat still and sunken into the truck seat. I can’t do that day in day out, Danny said. That fucked me up real bad. I’m never gonna be any good at it. I can tell. Always gonna second guess myself. Emotionally that’s really not good for me.
Carter didn’t know what to say to that so he just said okay.
I’m sorry man, Danny said. I know you stuck your neck out to get me an interview.
Carter said no I didn’t really. That was true. He really hadn’t.
Danny was his normal goofass self that evening. He must’ve still been rattled about the neck thing on some level though because Carter noticed that he bought tallboys at Casey’s that evening instead of a normal sized 6 pack like usual. Chugged 1 as soon as he got home and had another before dinner. Carter and Viv ate while Danny watched Big Bang Theory and laughed at the jokes. Viv tapped Carter on the shoulder and whispered she was ovulating. Carter said okay and they went to bed early. Later they were having sex and Carter was draped over Viv with his arms wrapped around her shoulders and humping like a madman. He was on the edge of cumming but the sound of the TV was distracting him. Danny had done the thing where he was feeling real beery but didn’t want to go to sleep yet so he turned up the volume higher to keep awake. It was a Will & Grace rerun now and that annoying lady was doing that squealing voice of hers. Carter felt like it was getting funneled right into his ear. Every time Carter felt his orgasm within reach that bitch squealed something else. He sweated and tried to look into Viv’s eyes and thrust harder and harder.