The summer after my mom died, I returned home from college to that empty house in Nowhere, Iowa, its bleached-white ceilings and sagging clothesline just a few rap songs from the refrigerator factory where I spent all day getting bitten by mosquitoes who exhibited a special fondness for my place on the line, thanks to the drains and leaky hoses by my feet. We were warned not to complain — plenty more temps they could call. Warned, too, to avoid the break room with its jailhouse camera swiveling right outside the boss’s office, his speakers playing only country. I remember old men missing fingers, a forklift operator drunk by noon, the groan and clatter of pallets stacked high enough to strum the nerves. Guys who gave bad instructions just so you’d have to redo everything while they flexed and laughed like high-school kids who will never grow older, never need to learn about the price of caskets. But most of all I remember the elation of those final moments when it no longer mattered if I missed my quota, if I turned the water hose on my coworkers, then sauntered off when the boss descended from on high and demanded the name of the culprit, his pen drawn like a dagger, even the full-timers scattering.