Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another strong bicycle installation.

Work was finished for the day. I clocked out and perched myself on a stool for a moment of reflection. Work benches were cleaned, the floor was swept, and locks were locked. I looked out the front door and saw our best customer. Fidel had my co-worker's attention, and there was a plastic crate in his hand. It could mean only one thing. I retreated to the bathroom, as my co-worker made progress toward his bicycle and home.

I sat on the toilet with the lid down and my pants up. I hunched forward and rested my forehead on the heels of my hands. I sat there breathing and waiting; letting a couple minutes slip by. 

I sat long enough to form some thoughts and look at myself. I am not responsible for anyone but myself. The shop is closed. And finally: treat other people the way you would like to be treated. 

I stood up, and took long confident paces to the front door. I unlocked the door and opened it. It was a few minutes later, but Fidel was still milling about on the sidewalk holding a big blue box. 

"Fidel! Come on, my friend!" I motioned for him to enter the store.

We went through the usual process of explanation. By now, I get the deal. He shows up with some clapped out bicycle and a plastic box with a hinged lid that I think he gets from behind a CVS somewhere. He needs the box to stay on the bicycle so he can use the setup to deliver food. Fidel pointed to the crate and to the bike. 

I like him. He's a character. He shows genuine appreciation when you help him out. Even though I can't say that we can communicate using words, I think we both have an understanding. We're both reasonable and decent humans. He wasn't drunk. He wasn't drinking beer and he didn't seem to have beer with him. Maybe he quit too. He insisted on buying me a soda next door.

I put the heavy bicycle in the stand and lined everything up. I made some marks with a marker and some holes with a drill. I used some of the random hardware that he brought me, and some stuff we had at the shop. For the fourth or fifth time so far, I did a damned good job.

What's 45 minutes? I told him there was no charge, and he insisted on tipping. We smiled and shared a solid handshake.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good man.