Aziz Mahmud Common App Essay


Aziz Mahmud , Contributor, '21

It was time for the worst part of my day: “greasing.” While putting on my dirty navy-blue overalls, my dad handed me the list of trailers I had to grease. I took the list and put it deep in my pockets and went down to the bathroom for one last break. After the bathroom, I put on my white latex gloves and headed out the door. It was raining. Great. Of course, it rained when I had to do the most dreaded job of the week.

I got out the yellow oily greasing machine and put the new bottle of grease in it. I headed out to my first trailer, got on my knees on the rocky terrain, and plugged the tip of the machine to where the first section of grease had to go. Two minutes of waiting, and I moved to the next. Why was I doing this? To help my dad. He would not hire anybody else to do it so he would just do it himself if I did not. The embarrassment I would feel seeing my 50-year old father on his hands and knees doing this dirty work, while his seventeen-year-old son just watched. That was motivation enough. 120 seconds later, I picked up the greasing machine and started the second step in greasing the trailer.

Another 120 seconds. Why am I complaining? This job is nothing compared to what my family had to sacrifice for me to live my privileged life. I felt guilty for hating this task my dad gave me.  All the other tasks, like driving to pick up a truck part, or rolling 200lb tires into the storage area, didn’t make me fuss too much because they weren’t as raw as greasing. Maybe this is what it was like for my 20-year old father, first arriving in America—dirty, poor, and confusing. Now it was on to the third step.

I got my face in between the enormous trailer tires to grease them. I actually worried about my hair getting greasy. My hair, my damn hair. That’s what I was worrying about. My grandpa left his entire life in Uzbekistan as a 60-year-old man in hopes of making enough money in America to feed his family, and here I am worrying about greasy hair when I can just wash it off tonight. Pathetic, right?

I knew I was almost done with the first trailer as I was on the fourth step verging onto the fifth, but I just wanted to stop right there and start on the next trailer—considering I had 15 left to do. I was about to. But I couldn’t. My dad placed his trust in me to finish this job. He gets irritated when people start something but don’t finish, so I sucked it up and continued greasing the first truck. How did my mom trust my newly met dad enough to travel to a whole new continent with him? I am literally about to break his trust. His own son. Scary. Would I have the courage to trust anyone that much?

Finally, I was on my last step which was greasing the other set of tires. I got my head in there and stuck the tip of the greasing machine into the trailer and started greasing away. I saw the clump of grease fall to the ground, signaling I was done with the first trailer. The rain stopped, and the sun came up. I was getting hot in my overalls. I wanted the rain to come back; I realized the rain wasn’t too bad after all. It was time to start on the next truck.

This is the worst part of my day. But for my dad, this is his everyday: the dirt, the sore back, the greasy face. I feel guilty that I cannot help him out more. I wonder how he does it all.