From Chapter 19
All around I knew there were underground tunnels left by the coal mines. Nobody bothered to keep track of them so today no one knows for sure where they are until a building cracks apart when the coal mine deep underground collapses. Even the rich people in the better part of town had cracks in their brand new ritzy houses. My grandfather told me about a mule barn built underground where the packing house is now for the mules that pulled the cars full of coal to the elevator or conveyor belt or whatever they used back then. The mules were born underground and spent their whole lives there until they died and their bodies were lifted out of the mine into the daylight for the only time so they could be hauled off somewhere for disposal. It hit me that our lives were just the opposite.
We spent time above ground until we die then we get put underground. But in every other ways our lives were the same, working until we died. We could have fun, go on vacations, get drunk, watch movies but after all of that it was back to work. The mules didn’t know any better but most people didn’t know either. If that barn ever collapsed it would probably destroy the whole building on the surface. Not knowing probably makes it better.