So, this guy named Vito came by the house today.
He wore pork chop sideburns, his dark eyes reflecting the hue of his hair, and his mood. When they brought me in to meet him, Vito stopped laughing and got real serious about the job.
Vito’s what they call a “specialist.” And he came buy to take our measurements…
…for granite, if you get my drift.
It’s what people like Vito do for a living. The untold, unspoken side, the hush-hush side of “contracting.”
I asked him, “You like what you do, Vito?”
Vito turned to Chris, the guy who hired him for the job and Chris winked at Justin, Chris’s “go to” guy when the goin’ gets tough. After their exchange, Vito snickered and said, “Pays the bills.” Real glib as if he didn’t have time to waste on one of his jobs. He looked down then up again from the piece of “equipment” in his gnarled hands and smirked. I could tell he could tell I wasn’t about to drop it.
“Kids need shoes. Rent needs payin’.” Vito said “payin'” like we’d be paying shortly. He added, “Know what I mean?” And we got us some debt with these guys. Deep debt as they say in the hood. Like, we don’t pay, and we’re gonna pay. My mind swirled to an old movie stock full of hitmen, concrete, and debt. Chris fingered his upper lip, glared at me, and shook his head. Justin got all jumpy, shifting his weight between feet as though he wanted to dive off the high-dive at a public pool. Justin blurted out a nervous laugh. Chris snapped his fingers, shutting Justin up in a flash.
I asked Vito for a peek at his equipment.
“Just like all of ’em,” he said, “Gotta know what’s comin’ before it comes.”
“Curious. More curious,” I said, as a stall. “You can’t blame me for wanting to see it.” The real meaning: to delay the inevitable. Sort of like asking a doctor what the next step in surgery will be. But here, today, I wasn’t under anesthesia. No. I was bright, alert, and responsive, as they say in wildlife rehabilitation. “That’s BAR, for short,” my trainer once told me, and not because I’m wildlife but because I’m a rehabber. Point in clarification. So you’s knows.
He let me look, Vito did but, as my shaking fingers reached to touch it, he drew back. It was right then, right there, I knew where his vulnerability lie–within his equipment. Without it, Vito was nothing.
OKAY. THAT WAS THE FICTION PART OF WHAT HAPPENED TODAY. HERE’S THE NONFICTION PART.
Vito is a guy from Granite Marble Specialties. He brought this computerized thingy-do to measure the angles of the Blue Flower granite we purchased from them, and boy-oh-boy do we owe them for the product! Gulp. But Vito was awesome. The granite will be installed next Monday! Wahoo! And, oh. He never once threatened to kill us. I think that’s something.
Not everyone feels that way. So you’s knows.
I write books. Most are fiction. Thank you for reading my work. GET ‘EM HERE… OR ELSE!