“PLUMB IT UP”
A fictitious story based on true events
By Adan Torres
Since the dawn of civilization, man’s primal need to migrate has never changed. The way early nomads moved from one home to another, seemingly, has been the easiest of process. The early man had no need to establish boundaries picking up and moving whenever the time called for it but as man evolved and cities grew, the quarrels for possessions began and along with it, their solution.
In the mid 2000s most people were unaware of the bubble which surrounded the housing market. Huge Financial institutions were financing risk-laden loans which, with increased foreclosure rates in 2006 and 2007,would cause the bubble to suddenly burst, Contributing, if not being the sole cause of the great recession of 2009. No, most Americans were still enjoying a steady economy, spending money as if it would not run out . Properties were bought and sold with relative ease and comfort. Without hesitation, owners would add and expand to their dwellings or businesses. Sparing almost no expenses, their quests for perfection, for pleasure or necessity, was of little concern and with so much invested in their abodes, the need to protect and determine all that was theirs became a must. Yes, in cities large and small across this great nation, business was plentiful.
Which brings me to Chicago, the location of our somewhat true story. Here, in the great city of wind and its seemingly peaceful suburbs lies the secret underbelly of the housing market. The Civil Engineering field is a prestigious one. A healthy mix of brain and brawn. The perfect field for ego and perfectionism , where the mind can not tolerate a single hundredth of an inch out of place…… But to every profession, there are the ones who do the dirty work. The explorers of this great wide open land. The ones who hike through forests and battle the elements. The ones who duel with the beasts of the terrain and the dangers of its human inhabitants. Yes, the hero’s of this great story who follow in the footsteps of our forefathers , George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln…Dan Aykroyd … With every sale and every foreclosure, they will appear.. With every building permit and every and any disputes amongst neighbors, “They” will be there. Never seen but always visible they are hidden in plain sight. A group of men masked in the shrouds of proud professionalism of the engineering world. They Come, they measure, they survey. If you listen with keen ears you may hear these men of mystery, these settlers of neighborly grievances. You may hear…..their call……
“Plumb it up!”
“ Plumb it up” he said attempting to gain a clear sight on the prism. “Hold it steady!…..Plumb it up , Joe, Damn it!” Still looking through the instrument he now refocuses down the plumb rod viewing his half-witted rookie partner. “Damn it! Wake up stupid!“ He yelled. “What the hell is wrong with you?! Who the hell falls asleep standing up?! I swear you have got to be the dumbest Rodman I’ve ever worked with.” Ting screamed.
“Hey man, you need to stop coming at me like that ‘pa , Puerto Ricans don’t take shit like that.” Joe fired back.
“You’re not Puerto Rican. What, were you born there? No, You were born in Chicago“, he said sarcastically. “Ha ha, have you even ever been to Puerto Rico?” Ting said again. Ting a confident man at 5’6” and 225lbs. . His accent sometimes making it hard to understand.
“Whatever man, I’m awake now so stop yelling at me! Damn man, you spit when you talk all nasty and shit” Joe said while wiping off his face. “..and that Diet Coke and Newports got your breath smelling like ass, ‘pa!”
“Their Marlboro Menthol stupid.” Ting said now looking down at his notes and punching numbers on his calculator.
“Why is it taking so long man“, whined the rookie, wiping his forehead.
“Why is it taking so long” Ting quickly mocked. “Wha- why? are you hot?” he said chuckling. “you have shorts and a t-shirt on. Look, I’m wearing jeans and I’m not complaining.”
Some of the Preferred Survey Crew
“Yeah, but you’re Philippino, That’s in the jungle. You should be used to the heat” Joe said.
With a puzzled face, Ting yells “ I thought you were Puerto Rican? That’s in the jungle too stupid! He quickly snapped. “You know what, forget it, just shut up and get me the last two far shots AND if you don’t do or say anything stupid for the rest of the job, we’ll stop and get some lunch after we get out of here……..Somewhere with air condition.”
“bet!” Joe quickly replied while starting his jog to his final points.
“Hurry up you’re moving too slow! And don’t scare the rich white people with your “Rican talk! They'll call the damn cops again!" Ting said chuckling to himself and returning to his notes. “set up at point A, back sight point D. C equaled 0.05 North and 0.02 east. B equals online and 0.02 East” he whispered to himself. “ How did I get stuck with this guy?”
“…..ting-aling ting-aling, ting-aling ting-aling” came a voice from his two way phone. “paging Constantine. ” he hears again, reaching for his phone to reply. “TING!”
“What!” Ting answers with a smile.
“Yo, what’s up, you chubby Ernie Reyes Jr. looking mutha?! Where you at?” sais the voive on the radio
“Oak Park, Historic District. you?”
“Sooouuth Siiiide! Ha ha, you working with Stupid Joe again? How’s that working out for ya?”
“Sucks, what do you think?”, he says while taking sight.
“Good!” he yells out to Joe picking up his phone again…
“..and he’s been here for like a month and he still reads the tape like a retard. “fifty.. uh.. point…uh.. six..uh... two”, “fifty, sixty two stupid” taking sight again. “Good!” he screams out again to his partner. “I guess he could be worse though, I like fucking yelling at him , ha ha. He promised he won’t do anything stupid the rest of the day though So I‘ll stop giving him shit today.
“that’s hi-larious man! Well, I don’t feel sorry for you.” he chuckled.
Suddently, Ting hears barking dogs. He quickly looked up and around before realizing the sounds were not coming from his site “Are those dogs barking?” Ting said looking at his phone.
“Yeah, gotta go man, Noel’s being chased by dogs, see you at the office later, PEACE!”
“Ok, see ya” Ting replied. Finishing up some notes he looks up to see his partner walking towards him, his shirt hanging around his waste. “ What the hell, Why the hell is your shirt off, stupid?! YOU PROMISED!”
“Someone has to defend this city” A voice from the shadows speaks to itself.
“..this country from the crime that has run our children and women into hiding in their homes.” A figure stands in a dark room looking out of a high rise window. “There has to be a man that is willing to stand up for what’s right when the police refuse to. When the police no longer remember the oath they took to serve justice to those who spit in face of lady liberty!” The figure says again pulling down a mask with a scope of some kind attached over one of the eyes. “This is America, and there has to a person that stands for justice! The system has got to work!” The figure shouts out loud.
The man steps away from the window. He laces up two thick work boots. He straps over his shoulders a chest piece made with what seems to be two spade shovel heads then buttons up a thick long sleeve shirt over it. He fastens his leather belt. To the side of the main pouch, which is filled tools is another holster with a machine that resembles a paint gun only the tank that is usually filled with paint balls is filled with thick metals nails. He grabs a rope with a metal weight that comes to a point at the end and straps it diagonally around his arm and body. Then again he stand by the window. Staring out into the night with the skyline of Chicago Reflecting back at him. He pulls up his leather gloves.
“ A man that stands for nothing, IS NOTHING!” He yells out into the night as he extends a rod with both hands and brings it back to its original length, then he throws it over his shoulders onto a makeshift holster on his back. He pulls off the rope from around his body and throws it out into the dark. The weighted end lassoes around an overhead wire and he swings into the city and out of sight.