He's a bit shorter than me, a bit stockier, twenty-something, quiet, broken-English, Filipino.

He started a few days after me, but not as a temp, full time with the company, and at first he hung out with Joe, them both being around the same age and new hires and all. 

But Joe proved a little useless, and Wyatt didn't like the way that Joe tried to boss him around (even though they were peers) and so after I became an employee he started chumming with me. I have a little more of a sense of purpose, and it's best to look busy, he understands.

So he's pretty much my team mate, only he doesn't say much, only once in a while bums a fag (he's trying to quit smoking), sometimes he looks around to see what his old buddy Joe is doing, usually it's not much, and he laughs and points and makes fun of him, or if we're high in a tower talks about how he'd kill him in the Philippines, only here it's different....

He's good to work with. He figures out what needs to be done, doesn't need to be told, he's a good partner. These are things you'd take for granted anywhere else, but in this work environment they make you a bit of a genius.

For the first month he said nothing, then I asked him if he liked Karaoke. "Most Filipinos like Karaoke" I tell him. He denies it adamantly, then begins to sing. And from a nasal, broken voice come the most perfect sung melodies...now we can't shut him up, one song after another as we work, classic American music, from contemporary pop to the Everly Brothers and Elvis.

So we're up late at night, perhaps 8:30, rolling out the tarps on the stairwell, a big job, late pour, that's keeping us late. He takes a break and a drag off his electric cigarette. The moon is full, just rising, low on the horizon, in the west the lights of the city are twinkling, below, a snow covered lake, coyote trotting across, only us to see, he imitates the howl of the coyote, the coyote pauses, returns the salute, then continues.

It's a perfect moment and I wonder what he's thinking. So much hinges on language, and I wonder how many thoughts he has, brilliant, poetic even, that go unarticulated...Everything so quiet, the site empty of workers, cold but still, only us up top working upon the tarps, maybe a missed girlfriend back in the Philippines...?

I don't need to wonder for long. He puts away his cigarette and begins..."Joseph...what a fucking idiot...."