Winnipeg, Stonewall, Brandon
The Apprenticeship Begins
I eventually gave up on graduation from the Electrical Technology program and applied for an apprenticeship with Manitoba Hydro in 2001. This seemed to be an acceptable path to the powers that be that seem to mess my head up and make me do stupid things to hurt my life and to affect those around me. I’m not sure why, but it’s like I have no choice but to play games with my education. Is it the curse of Issac, the white son of Abraham? I am Aboriginal and from what I know Esau did sell his birthright to him for a bowl of Lentil soup. Perhaps there was something in that and I was somehow forbidden from learning. Maybe like so many other Aboriginals I would have to earn to learn.
I may just have to commit crime to get ahead in life. Maybe all that awaited me in my life was crime and punishment. Did I do something horribly wrong in another life? Are the Hells Angels punishing me for past crimes? I am drawn like a moth to the flame and do stupid things like play with prostitutes in the North End and have now smoked crack. I enjoyed the challenge of Skills Assessment and Training Orientation and I came out a favourite in the testing that was mandatory of all applicants, but still something was wrong. What had happened to me? Why did I keep slipping through the cracks? I wasn’t sure, but I ended up getting the job at Manitoba Hydro and became an Indentured Power Electrician Apprentice.
At first this was fun, I learned new things, and as luck would have it I was hired into the Electrical Construction Department. I got to build things with my hands, did stuff that made me feel useful again. I seemed to get along with the other apprentices and it was now 2001. The World Trade Center Buildings had been hit and came crashing down. There had been a terrorist attack on American soil. I wasn’t sure what that meant for Canada, but I watched with the rest of the world in horror as men and women jumped to their deaths from the upper reaches of the buildings instead of being consumed by fire or asphyxiation via the smoke that must have filled the upper floors after airplanes hit both the towers within fifteen minutes of one another.
The Americans were now looking for someone called Osama Bin Laden, leader of some fucking raghead organization called Al Qaeda. There were others allegedly involved, but he was the top dog for them and had planned the entire thing. Would the United States drag Canada into a war over in the Middle East? Osama seemed to be an exiled prince from the Saudi Royal family and was now number one on the FBI most wanted list.
I hated to leave Winnipeg for work, but after the initial training at the training facility in Stonewall, they placed me on a crew in Brandon. I had to build something that I can hardly recall in my absent-minded condition of the present. I would sure miss those lovely ladies and the crack pipes would have to be put down, but the ladies would understand. I could take a bag of weed with me and smoke it in the off hours, or I could get a bottle and drink by myself for a while in my room. The company also provided that, and they gave me a per diem to eat with. They looked after me well and loved the newfound wealth. It would be a wonderful winter.