The morning fog has not lifted yet, keeping the black earth in its grasp just a bit longer while I stare at my feet. The dirt I’m standing on is blotchy from different kinds of soil mixed together by an earlier force. Possibly a shovel, or bigger machinery when the road was built. While I crack my brain about whether or not it was machinery, meaning the dirt came from elsewhere than this area, cars are speeding past me. The result is a low buzzing sound that tries to get my attention but I’m still too sleepy to notice.
The first thing to do is throwing cans and other garbage out of our trenches. During the past night, multiple of these things have found their ways out of passing cars and into our excavation. When working next to the highway, there is a high possibility that trash will come flying at you while working. The drivers on the road can barely see us. We’re located a little below the road, with large piles of dug up earth between us and the actual asphalt.
I stretch my back and observe the walls of my ditch. I’m not even able to look over them because of my limited height! As this results in a limited view, I decide to look at the sky. It is clear weather and the blue sky promises a nice warm day.
Working next to the highway also forces us to wear safety helmets, which are not unnecessary when garbage comes flying at you at non-specific times, and bright orange workclothes. I pick up my shovel and start to scrape up centimeters of dirt at the time. I feel like humming, and wish I had some chain-gang-songs to keep myself into a rythm. Working 6 to 8 would work as well. But my ditch does not have any wifi, so there is no Youtube to listen to.
While the clothes are made to protect us, the only thing they do right now is keep us warm. A bit too warm. Suddenly I hear a thunk. An empty can of Cola falls into my ditch, the last drops of the sugary drink spills on my clothes. It reminds me again why proper clothing is absolutely necessary.