Thursday, March 8, 2012

on being late for dance class

on this particular day, i had just picked up my daughter from kindergarten, and had begun the race to dance class. the center is across town and getting her there on time demands efficient driving... and, sometimes a bit of luck. and then there he was, situated on a quiet backstreet, sitting in the midst of his "office." i could tell from the road that he had the look for my project, and after passing by him, i realized that i needed to seize this opportunity, regardless of the likelihood that we would be late for dance class. i told my daughter to stay in the car (in the driveway) while i took his photo... she didn't stay in the car. well, it is probably because of my delinquency in returning to the car. you see, a man like this can not be hastily wisked through an experience such as this portrait of the day project. he wanted to tell stories and ask questions. my guilt burned twice, once for the fact that i felt compelled to cut him off in mid-story to be the responsible dad, and twice for delaying my girls arrival at dance. the moment won the contest, and i basked in the winter sunlight with this humble man. he has been selling fire wood for decades, but he now no longer chops it himself. my daughter has a good memory of meeting him and hearing a story or two, and she has no recollection that we were ten minutes late to dance class. she still regularly comments when we pass his house, and takes note of how much wood is stacked. i recall the payoff for having chosen wisely to take some time with this man.

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