If I write down this person as he appears to me, there will be a lot of full stops in the text. Example:
Well.(Four beats moving toward five.) I suppose. (One beat). Putting the measurements in writing.(Three beats, followed by a broken chuckle). Might be a good first step.
Meanwhile, at my end, impatience sputters like grease in a hot skillet while the phone rings – no, we won’t make the deadline to announce our documentary film evening, besides the manager of the cinema has decided he doesn’t want us there anymore – yes, all right, a meeting at three… hold on… you’ll need a pencil and paper for those measurements…in my hand, I’m holding them out to you…
and so on.
However. After three round trips to the hardware store on the outskirts of town in a van intent on eating any part of my body it could grab, all the ingredients were assembled for what I foresaw as a disaster (but wasn’t).
First though, my hired help needed a snooze on the couch, followed by a second coffee. Didn’t mind a beer with his lunch and took ten shots with his phone of a poster of mine titled Eloge de la Lenteur (In Praise of Slowness). I left for my appointments with grave misgivings but came home to the new flooring ready for laying out in the bedroom. This morning: same flooring in the downstairs hallway. Eventually. Something – another piece of art on the wall, a book, a passing fly or a random thought: bound to bring everything to a grinding halt. I have outside appointments for most of the day so I’ll spare myself grief over the snoozes on the couch while I pay him an hourly wage.
Two more young men from Mali in need of basic coaching in reading and writing. One of them, just turned eighteen, never had a day of schooling back home and started an apprenticeship over here before even learning the A-B-Cs.
Voilà. In storyland, a man sits on a rolled-up exercise mat. If he’s as slow-moving as my hired help, he just might sit there for several more beats.