Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Blacksmith

I’ve had a long weekend and frankly I’m tired. But, I made a date with this guy, and I find his occupation very intriguing. So, for that reason alone, I am inspired to follow through with the date.

We meet at Stella’s, a coffee shop near Washington Park and not far from my house. He is much taller than I’d expected and very handsome. He’s part Chinese and has thick black hair and big dark eyes. He used to play football and still has the build. He has a striking smile.

We order drinks and sit outside in an area that at first seems great because it’s so private-only two tables-but then turns out not to be so great because it’s really the smoking section.

We talk about his work. He was a real estate agent, and actually still does some of that work on the side to keep the money flowing. But, he decided at some point that he wanted to look into welding. He asked around and discovered that there is not much of a market for welders, so he tried searching for a blacksmith to hire him. He contacted two blacksmithing companies in the area who said they couldn’t hire him because he had no experience and they were far too busy to be able to make time to train him. However, being the charming salesman that he is, he got them both to agree to meet with him. After the meetings, he said they both hired him. He chose the closest one and has been with them now for a couple of months.

I don’t know the proper terms, so forgive me, but there are several types of blacksmithing-the kind that make shoes for horses and the kind that this guy does which is more ornamental stuff like railings and things for fireplaces and the like.

He gets to work with his hands and have something to show for a hard days’ work. It’s rewarding and fulfilling and gives him a sense of accomplishment as well as an artistic outlet. I tell him I’m impressed that he, unlike so many others we all know, is able to follow his heart and not get bogged down by “should’s” and “have-to’s”.

We have a perfectly pleasant exchange for about an hour-he rides his bike a lot and so do I; he grew up just down the street from where I grew up, etc.

It looks like it’s going to rain, so I let him know I need to go and as we are hugging good-bye, I see a look on his face that tells me I won’t be hearing from him again.

Just to confirm my suspicions, I email him a couple of days later to see if he’d like to go out again. As suspected, I never hear from him again.

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