Tracy had to remain at the TnT company office until 6:00 p.m. in order to be there if there were any material or equipment deliveries. After 6:00 p.m., there were still TnT crews working out in the oil field, but it would be the responsibility of each crew to put their trucks in the shop building, and shut and lock the garage doors after themselves. The last TnT company crew truck might not get back to the company yard until as late as 9 or 10 p.m., so nobody expected anyone in the office to stick around and wait for the last truck to get back.
At 6:00 p.m., Tracy was the last person to leave the TnT company office. He had a five mile drive to his parents’ house further north of Belfield. Tracy had lived in this same house ever since he was born. The house had started out as a very small one-story farm house when it was built in the early 1900s. It was later added on to at least three different times. The last time that it was added on to was 2009. The family business had just had two highly profitable years, and his father Tom, was confident that there would be at least several more good years. His father just dreamed about it for two years before he finally did it. A massive two-story addition to the end of the house. Below was a very large and tall, three-truck garage, up top was four bedrooms, one for each of the kids who were now all in their teens. His father must have partly conceived this, knowing that he wanted all of the children to stay and work in the family business, and not wanting there to be an excuse for any one of them to leave.
Tracy went up to his room, wanting to block out everything about Belfield, except for the bright red sun set over the grasslands, that he couldn’t help but see through his bedroom window.
Most all of the oil field workers Tracy’s age could not wait to get to the bars in Belfield, South Heart, and Dickinson once they got off of work. Working out in the barren grasslands all day, they could not wait to get into civilization, to eat, drink, and socialize. But Tracy had lived here all of his life, he didn’t want to be here anymore. He did not want to be around loud, boisterous, young construction workers anymore. He did not care about hunting. He did not care about mudding, four-wheeling, or snowmobiling. He just wanted out of here.
Tracy began looking through the NYU college catalogue that he had recieved that day. He was reading about the different courses and course descriptions that would lead to a bachelor of arts in theater, music, film, or dance. He was not dead set on attending NYU, but he wanted to live and go to school in New York City. To his knowledge, all of the greatest American composers, musicians, playwrights, choreographers, dancers, artists, and writers had lived in New York City. From what he had read, he believed that the art culture and intellectual culture in New York City was what inspired and fed the creativity of the artists that lived there. He wanted to be there. He did not ever think that he would be able to compose great music, become a playwright, direct a musical, anything, without studying and living in New York.
Tracy had enjoyed playing music with his family when he was a kid, but he became more and more frustrated that everyone else in his family was just treating it as a hobby that they could just pick up and put down. His father Tom did not like, encourage, or enable Tracy to become more involved in artistic things or spend a great deal of time on music lessons. His father made sure that when Tracy was not in school, or doing his homework, there was his share of farm work to do.
As Tracy got older, he tried to understand why his father was trying to steer him away from anything creative or artistic. For one thing, it was obvious that his father wanted him to work in the family business, TnT Construction, and later TnT Oil Field Service. But besides that, was there something else?
Tracy could only speculate that his father never did like pot-smoking, drug using, artistic hippie people. There were a lot of people his father’s age around Dickinson and Belfield that his father couldn’t stand, and called them “worthless and useless”, and did not want them around when they sometimes came to TnT to put in an application. Tracy could not help but see the logic in his father’s thinking, that you couldn’t have flaky, unreliable, lazy, people working in the family business. But here again, Tracy and his father did not see eye-to-eye on this either.
Tracy could not stand working with flaky, unreliable, lazy, stupid people. Even when Tracy was in his early teens, and working with his father, brothers, and a few construction worker employees, Tracy’s father could see that Tracy was not getting along with the construction workers. At that time, Tom had to have a talk with Tracy explaining that not everybody was the same, not everybody was like him and his brothers, not everybody was smart, that sometimes they would have people working with them that were not smart, and that he would have to just keep quiet about it and try to get the job done with them. But as Tracy got older, he was often at odds with the people working at TnT.
Tom began to understand that he had to be careful about what he had Tracy do for TnT. Rather than tell Tracy he was in charge of installing a cattle guard, he had to tell Tracy to load, deliver, and unload the cattle guard, so and so would run the backhoe and put it in place. He could not put Tracy in charge, because Tracy was too impatient and critical with the workers, they would likely either walk off the job or there would be a fight. As Tracy got older, he began to realize this too, and he did not want to be in charge, he did not want to be working for his family business here in Belfield anyway.
(The characters in this novel are fictional, and are not based on real or actual persons. The events in this novel are fictional. Any resemblance to real or actual persons, or actual events, is entirely coincidental.)