I meant to edit the next round of photos from the trip Sharon and I took in May, but my afternoon yesterday was spent entertaining the FedEx guy.
I can’t seem to get across to the FedEx guy to bring my packages to the studio — he smiles and nods and vaguely says something that sounds like “okay” and then next time, again, a 40-lb box of glaze is on the front porch of my house and I have to carry that shit to the studio. So for the longest time I thought… I don’t know. He doesn’t like me? He has a routine he can’t vary from? He’s being a troll? He kind of looks like a … swarthy dwarf. He’s, like, one eyepatch away from being a pirate.
So yesterday when I was in the studio glazing, getting ready to wrap that up and go make some copies I need for a super-fun story I’ve been sitting on about my car insurance, and take a look at and edit the photos I want to use for the next stage of our travels in May, I get an email that FedEx has delivered a package. Now, the “ding” of new email had come in a good five to ten minutes before I actually checked it (since I didn’t want to pause glazing just to check my phone). So I was surprised, when I went outside to walk to the house, that FedEx guy was still there… in a rented van, no less.
When I got close to the house, he waved me over to his van… and I’m thinking, “no freaking way, troll pirate! I’m not coming close to your murder van!” but he started getting out of his car and gesticulating wildly and saying heavily-accented things that sounded like “death and calamity”.
Turned out he’d had a flat tire. He’d run over a nail somewhere in the last couple of miles, and the last of the air was angrily hissing out even as we stood and watched.
“Do you have a spare…?”
“No! No tire! Just boxes!”
So I hung out with him outside for a little while, watching him look dejected and pacing and throwing his hands up in the hour repeatedly saying “one hour! one hour!”.
When he called someone else and started firing off rapid Spanish, I went ahead and grabbed my box from the front porch and took my glaze over to the studio. I hung out there for a while but I kept looking out the front door, and I felt bad for him. He’d sat back in the truck, but the cab was in the bright sun and he looked miserable… so I went over, offered him water, and told him he could come sit in the cool of the studio if he wanted. I didn’t have the AC on, but it’s been so cool out lately that with all the doors open and the fans on, it was nice inside.
He was fascinated by my pottery, and kept walking around and looking at things like he was in an art museum. When I busted out my three words of Spanish he was thrilled, and suddenly, we were best friends. He’s from the Dominican Republic; he moved from there to New York in his 30s, moved down here in his 50s, misses his daughter who is in the Navy and stationed in Africa, grows amazing fruit trees in his spare time, and keeps a picture of his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary on his phone (with all 13 of his brothers lined up beside them). He hung out in my studio for over an hour while we waited for FedEx to send him a tire guy, and I continued to glaze since I didn’t want to be all, “hey, you can sit in my studio, but then I’m going to go do work in my office so please don’t bother me.”
The poor guy waited almost two hours for the tire guy (turns out he’d been given the wrong address), and I almost considered inviting him in for dinner, he was waiting so long! Turns out he still had to finish his route…! “No stop until empty!”. I felt so bad for him. A dull two-hour delay in his day and then he couldn’t even go home and call it done. Ugh.
So. Anyway. That was my afternoon. I hope by having someone trying to talk to him in his native language and being friendly made those two hours a little better than they would have been otherwise. He shook my hand like three times as he was leaving, and was smiling genuinely. I wish I’d had some cookies or something to give him.