Yesterday I met one of the guys who works for our contractor. Abraham. He was so sweet!
Meeting him at the end of the day was funny to me because we had been working next to each other for hours, separated by a wall of plastic, him sawing chunks out of our floor and me designing and addressing invitations to my kids’ joint birthday party. He listened to music all day, at a quiet and respectful volume, but it was loud enough for me to notice and enjoy his eclectic taste.
As the day went on, though, I started to feel bad because my side of the plastic was air-conditioned while his was not, and my work was physically easy while his was not. I wondered several times whether I could or should (or whether it would even be helpful to) bring him refreshment of some sort. Since I was wearing a dress, the scene in my head became very 1950s picturesque as I handed him a glass of lemonade, and then picturesque turned awkward because I’m especially bad at small talk even in my imaginary scenes.
So I didn’t say hi through the plastic and I didn’t make any lemonade. When I got done with my work I went on a walk. Then I ran into Abraham as he was leaving for the day, and his young face (younger than I’d expected from anyone with that name) smiled wide as he opened the gate for me. I said thank you and we both went our separate ways, and I wondered whether he assumed I was a friend of the people who own this strange house or whether he knew that I had been his silent companion.