“Tommy,” Ray Scanlon

by MP

     Tommy was an Irishman, easily two or three times my age, indoor-pale, with a shy smile, reputed to be drunk twenty-four/seven. He worked with dangerous pre-OSHA machines in the bindery. The massive trimming shears had a safety interlock you had to physically span with both arms spread wide. This effectively prevented inadvertent hand-chopping, but I suspect a determined suicide might have been able to behead himself.