Creative Work: ‘Working On The Railroad’ by Mitch Kalka


Creative Works
The piece for this week is from Mitch Kalka who has produced a poignant work of black comedy that mixes themes of family and death in a mixture that works brilliantly and expertly.

Working on the Railroad

I think it was my voice that did me in. When I was younger, it lacked expression and tonal range, to the point where “Shit, my hand is on fire!” came out with the same amount of enthusiasm as “I’ll have the soup, thank you.” When I sang, I sounded like somebody talking, and when I talked, I sounded like a boy whose dog just died. And that was when I talked at all. I was incredibly introverted, which didn’t help with the gloomy impression I gave.

Between my quiet, unenthusiastic nature and my monotone voice, many people worried that something might be seriously wrong with me. It wasn’t so much the case with close friends, but everyone who only knew me from a distance was convinced that I was dangerously depressed. My best friend Sam’s mom was especially concerned.

“Is that Mitch boy depressed?” she would ask him. “He’s so quiet.”

“Mitch is a complicated man,” he would tell her.

To this, she would reply, “Sam, I can’t help worrying. Maybe you could spend more time with him?”
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