Friday, July 10, 2009

Bruno's Book Keeping

Probably the coolest thing about Bruno is that he keeps all his important papers in his shirt pocket. This morning, when he greeted Corey and me, he extracted the same crinkly index card he used to give us our estimate a few months ago. I remember him clutching his nubby pencil in his weathered paw, looking much like my old football players trying to maneuver a writing implement. He wrote things down--some recognizable numerals, and then some other things that I'm sure only he knew about.

When we had called his office to confirm the job, his admin said, "Hang on. I have to find your card." Which led me to believe she was shuffling through an alphabetized stack of similar index cards.

This morning, Bruno had a huge wad of cards sticking out of the pocket. As Corey and I talked through our desires, he shuffled through the cards. "I have it all written down here," he says. "I remember." His face lit up as he found our "invoice." We made another request--that he leave some concrete around the stairs to the garden--and he indicated something on the card before shoving it back in his pocket.

He gestured to another house on our street where he had worked over a year ago. He referenced what he did for them, compared it to our curb needs. I get the sense that no matter what happens, Bruno will know exactly what we owe him and what he did for us.

There is something other-worldly about him, something tougher and more sturdy than Tony Soprano even. The wild and overly pregnant part of my brain suspects that, nice as he is and as good as he smells, Bruno could easily arrange someone to come over here and break our legs. Or, alternatively, bring us a vat of olive oil he cured himself.

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