Overworked and Underplayed

“It was Ellis Island that ruined my shoulder.” A friend told me that recently. I pressed him to explain.

For many years he held a job etching signs for the sides of buildings, huge signs that are hand-made on enormous equipment, and the combination of a great deal of repetitive motion with the necessary delicate manipulation of heavy slabs of metal took its toll on his body. He blames the enormity of that one contract, the Ellis Island job, on his injury. Not the many other jobs that were similar, or the fact that he has continued etching large-scale objects, or that he has played electric guitar in a band for four decades on the side.

Someday, “The Ellis Island Job” will be a short story title from my fingers. Or the title of a song for his band.
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