Blue Collared

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The soft whir of the air conditioning filled the silence within Jamie’s car as he stared down at the screen of his phone. A text stared back at him, an invitation to another beach weekend with his friends that he would have to deny. Of the bunch, he was the “stiff”, as they liked to call him. His frequent cancellations and regretful absences were chalked up to his job. While the others had three years of experience under their belts, Jamie was only just starting out at the bottom of the totem pole in the legal department for Stanford Construction. With a major promotion on the line and a major project graciously placed in his lap, he was forced to bail once more – hopefully for the last time.

Stepping out of his hybrid, Jamie cursed himself for choosing a career that demanded formalwear. Under the blistering July heat, the slim gray suit felt more like a wool sweater. He envied the men in wife beaters and raggedy Levi’s dragging cement and sheets of metal around the construction site. Of course, standing at a modest five foot eight, half the size of those blue collar grunts, he envied much more than their outfits. Checking his styled blonde hair in the car’s mirror, Jamie made a beeline for the trailer in which the foreman resided, eager for a new A/C source.

Knocking on the door, Jamie’s knees were knocking with the desire to get out of the sun’s glare like a child who couldn’t hold his bladder. Lumbering footsteps were heard through the door, a sign of coming relief. When the door swung open, Jamie’s trembling ceased, eyes squinting as he was forced to look up to see the man’s face.

“Mister Hank Richards?” Jamie questioned, intimidation causing his voice to hike up ever so slightly. The man’s thick brow rose in response as he let out a grunt before turning on his heel and heading for his desk. It wasn’t exactly the polite workplace greeting Jamie expected, but he followed behind nonetheless – only to discover with a pathetic look of misery on his face that the window unit in the trailer was silent and the heat was hardly abetted by the roof.

“You that legal yuppie they sent to try and tell me to work faster?” Richards barked, his filthy foreman’s boots slamming on the surface of his desk. Jamie’s attention was brought back to the task at hand, standing lamely in the middle of the trailer before he cleared his throat and came back to himself.

“Yes, sir. I’m Jamie – Jamie Donovan. I b-believe the office sent over a copy of the contract we signed with your firm?” Jamie’s voice trembled ever so slightly before he recovered. He had no idea what had thrown him off his game. Perhaps it was the heat, or the rancid smell that seemed to fill the whole office. He made himself comfortable, unbuttoning his designer suit to settle into the flimsy chair across from the foreman’s desk. With the man reclining, so big and bulky, Jamie felt more like a teenager called into the principal’s office than a professional meeting with an equal.

“You get dropped on your head as a kid? I know what the fuck I signed.” Hank practically spit the words at Jamie, crossing his thick arms over his barrel of a chest. In his company’s t-shirt – which happened to be soaked around the pits and neckline with sweat – he looked every bit the blue collar man his company’s commercials proclaimed him to be. Jamie had been briefed of course. He had bahis siteleri a reputation for the stereotypically brutish behavior associated with his industry, though his boss had failed to mention he was a staggering six foot five with more hair coating his arms and bursting out of his collar than a gorilla. Even his mustache was fuller than anything Jamie had ever grown. Not to mention his shirt was wrapped tightly around a bulging belly to match the paunchy red face. He looked more like a hog than a man with his piggish features and ruddy complexion mixed with his burly figure.

Jamie couldn’t understand how quickly things had gone south. In law school, he’d been famous for his quick thinking, slicing through opposing arguments with his sharp tongue and an arrogant look. Now he sat stationary on the folding chair in his sweaty suit, stammering like a child being scolded by his father, heart pounding like a drum.

“Now listen here, boy,” Hank grumbled, his dismissive nickname going unaddressed. “My men are working in hundred degree heat day and night to finish this project so you can stroll in here, light in your loafers, and flaunt your hundred dollar haircut. You think that’s fair, boy?” Jamie was speechless before Hank slammed his fist on the desk. “Answer me when I ask you a question, son!”

“Y-yes, sir!” Jamie spit, sweat now dripping from his temple. Hank didn’t seem impressed one bit as he eyed the young lawyer, though there seemed to be a flash of understanding in his eyes. Jamie’s nerves drove him to shakily reach for his briefcase, popping the latches to search for the contract as a bit of backup. At the same time, Hank reached for his boots atop his desk, beginning to undo the laces. As Jamie slammed his case shut, laying the contract atop it, his nose twitched only for him to realize the source of a filthy odor when he turned back to the foreman. His massive feet were now exposed in their socks, laid out over the desk.

“Mister Richards, I fear we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot,” Jamie mumbled, shuffling the contract as he tried to ignore the intoxicating stink of those feet in the heat of the trailer. Flipping a few pages, Jamie struggled to collect himself. “However, we – our firm, we explicitly outlined procedure for a struggling time table –“

“Fuck, my dog’s are barkin’…” Hank interrupted, drawing Jamie’s speech to a close almost immediately. The piggish, beady eyes of the foreman fixed themselves on the lawyer. “You ever take your dad’s boots off after a day at work boy? Nothing a man could use more than a foot rub after a hard day’s work – real work that is.” Jamie flushed pink in the cheeks. He had the distinct feeling that last comment was a shot at him.

“Mister Richards, I don’t see how –“

“I asked you a question kid. Your pops ever have you take his boots off for him, maybe give ’em a spit shine? Or was he another corporate pansy like you and your liberal arts buddies?”

Jamie felt himself release a breathless laugh, as if he was no longer in control of his body. He must be in a dream sequence. Were there still men in the world that talked like this, that believed in their own superiority as he did? More importantly, why had Jamie completely frozen? Until now he’d allowed the man to walk all over him – and it felt better each time he did it. Perhaps it was merely a respect canlı bahis siteleri for his elders, but the stiffness in his cock suggested otherwise.

“No, actually, my dad was a fireman. He didn’t wear the boots home – changed at the station with the guys,” Jamie finally answered awkwardly.

“Oh yeah?” Hank grumbled, a slight curl to his perpetually sneering lips. “So he probably had some poor rookie doin’ it for him at the firehouse – shame. He should’ve taught you how to treat a man. Now get over here. You’re gonna learn.”

Hank snapped his fingers as if calling a dog. Jamie surprised himself once more by rising to his feet and complying. As he moved around the desk, Hank kept his feet firmly planted on the floor. Jamie only hesitated for a moment before he got to his knees in order to reach them. He began to struggle with the knots just as Hank began to speak again.

“So why’d they send you down here, huh? Scrawny, young little thing like you can’t be more than an intern. They really think I’m gonna take some business talk seriously from a yuppie whose balls ain’t even dropped?” Hank guffawed, cracking himself up and setting his belly jiggling all while Jamie forced himself to laugh along woodenly. It was better to think the older man was laughing with him than at him.

“Well, actually, I graduated in the top –“

“See you don’t know what the business world is like yet,” Hank grunted, cutting Jamie off immediately. He crossed his arms behind his head to reveal ovaline sweat stains in his shirt capped by bushes of armpit hair bursting forth from his sleeves. Jamie’s eyes locked onto them the moment they were bared, something Hank took note of.

“Men, real men, have to speak man to man, and, well, I see a boy in front of me. But that’s not to say a boy doesn’t have his place in my world!” Hank seemed to be smirking to himself now, while Jamie experienced a similar sense of relief mixed with embarrassment. At least he had a place in Hank’s universe.

“Ah, that’s better,” Hank groaned as his second boot clunked to the floor. “Now get those hands on my hogs, son.”

Jamie was stunned into silence once more, swallowing heavily around the lump in his throat. His eyes fell to those big socked feet. The gray cotton was soaked in some spaces, most certainly with sweat, and the left foot’s big toe was poking through a hole in the fabric. They smelled as if they’d marinated in sweat and musk for days without a good washing. Jamie was here on business. They were meant to be equals, coworkers. And yet he was mesmerized by the gravitational pull of this man. He carried natural authority, something Jamie could only dream of. His voice was not to be ignored, nor his words or any miniscule action. Even the twitch of his lips into a smile under his bushy mustache couldn’t be ignored as Jamie reached out to wrap his hands around one of those large, socked feet.

“There’s a good boy. Now we can talk business.” Hank’s sneer grew as the young lawyer began to knead his feet. Jamie felt his face scrunch in disgust at the way his fingers squelched in the wet, sweaty fabric, his weak hands no match for the hardened calloused feet. Still, it seemed to be what the boss wanted as he began to speak.

“Here’s the deal, Jamie-boy. My men are some fuckin’ clydesdales, you know? They’re working like dogs, something you canlı bahis wouldn’t understand,” he guffawed. The man leaned back in his chair, hands intertwining behind his head to let bushy sweaty pits breathe. His feet flexed in Jamie’s hands while the young lawyer remained mesmerized by his own shocking actions as he continued to knead them with his hands. “See, that’s the issue. You don’t even understand what’s goin’ on here. Ah, I don’t blame you. Your daddy never taught you what real men do – it’s a common problem. Switch feet, boy.”

Everything he said seemed to be an aggressive bark, breaking down Jamie’s resistance piece by piece. How could the focused young scholar be reduced to a foot massager? He couldn’t quite come up with an answer as he pulled the other foot to him, just inches from his nose where the scent of sweat now lived permanently. Hank wriggled his one free toe at Jamie catching his eye and hypnotizing him while he spoke.

“Sir — Mr. Richards, I just –” Hank silenced him simply by raising his hand in the air. His eyes squinted at the boy’s face, shoulders bouncing with a gruff laugh.

“You got some green shit in your teeth boy – probably some millennial sissy salad you ate. I got it,” he grumbled. Jamie couldn’t guess what he meant until suddenly the foot in his hands rose, the bare big toe pressed to his lips and wriggling past them in the blink of an eye. Jamie froze in place, lips parting as that toe wriggled around his mouth. It glided over his tongue, forcing him to taste the sweaty skin while the untrimmed nail began to clatter against his teeth. Hank directed it between his teeth, scraping that toenail in the space where the food supposedly had stuck. While Jamie’s face turned a tomato red, spreading as far as his ears, Hank continued to use his toenail to clear out the food, sliding his hairy toe around in his mouth in the process while that sweaty sock pressed against Jamie’s cheek. After a minute that felt more like an eternity, he finally removed it.

“Eh, must’ve been imagining it. Didn’t get anything. Anyway, boy, here’s the deal – I’m not gonna talk business when I’ve been sweating my swamp ass off all day. You owe me a proper business dinner – that’s what men do in your world right? You could at least try to act like one. You got your own place?” Jamie nodded wordlessly, his face still fire engine red. “Good. Tomorrow, five o’clock, you’re making me a proper business dinner. We’ll sit down, discuss this project, and if you manage to impress me, I might be able to get the guys to hustle a bit. You can email me the address – now scram, I got work to do.”

Just like that Jamie was dismissed from the most demeaning “meeting” of his life. The foreman gave a good shove of his foot to Jamie’s chest, sweaty sock leaving a wet spot on his white dress shirt while Jamie’s arms flailed foolishly, being knocked off his balance. He couldn’t even find words to express his confusion and embarrassment at the ordeal of the last half hour. He simply couldn’t recover. This man had shut down every attempt to get back on track and follow Jamie’s agenda. As he got back to his seat, gathering his things and heading for the door, his head was still spinning until the foreman called from his desk. Jamie turned back at the door, a stunned look still on his face as the brute smirked from his seat.

“I like my steak well done, boy.”

Jamie nodded wordlessly one last time before fleeing through the trailer’s door, taking a deep shuddering breath when he finally got fresh air under the burning sun.

What had he just done?

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