“The trouble with intellectuals,” Manny, my boss, once told me, “is that they don’t know nothing till they can explain it to themselves. A guy like that,” he said, “he gets to middle age — and by the way, he gets there late; he’s trying to be a boy until he’s forty, forty-five, and then you give him five more years until that craziness peters out, and now he’s almost fifty — a guy like that at last explains to himself that life is made of time, that time is what it’s all about. Aha! he says. And then he either blows his brains out, gets religion, or settles down to some major-league depression. Make yourself useful. Hand me that three-eights torque wrench — no, you moron, the other one.”
Summer Job, by Richard Hoffman. From the bundle Gold Star Road, Barrow Street Press 2007. Spotted on Michael Agar‘s home page and also seen at Poetry Foundation.