The Stone Tailor

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
The day was dull like always until I met a peculiar man who provided some wisdom.

Submitted: September 18, 2013

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Submitted: September 18, 2013

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I met an interesting fellow during Labor Day weekend. As I walked down Clone Street, I just so happened to peer through one of the windows out of many the block-long row of buildings possessed. Inside it was a casually dressed man with measuring tape wrapped around his neck like an untied tie. Grey plaid decorated the kangol hat he wore slightly tipped down to his right ear. His royal white toothbrush mustache distracted my vision from the lack of hair peeking underneath his hat. What intrigued me the most about the man was his actions—or rather from the looks of it his occupation. His left hand was sizing up a rock lying on the glass countertop like it was molding an invisible pound of clay, while his right chipped away at the stone with a mini pickaxe.

I entered the store, and to my surprise the store was full of the same merchandise. Big rocks, little rocks, grey rocks, purple rocks; it was a catalogue of stone. Not surprisingly, a customer wasn’t in sight.

“Excuse me,” I asked. “Do you happen to do this for a living?”

The stone tailor peered up from his latest work and granted me a cozy smile—exposing his teeth molar to molar. The tip of his mustache snuggled into the beginning shadows of his nostrils. The lack of colors in his eyes suggested blindness, but everywhere my pupils traveled his own trailed.

“Why,” he begun. “Hello there. My’a name’s Giovanni. You can call’a me Gio for short.”

“Okay Gio. Um…how should I put this? How do you get business?”

“What’a do you mean?”

I sighed. “You know. With all of this. The rocks I mean. Surely you know rocks aren’t the biggest item on demand. Besides, you live in a commercially competitive area. So how are you able to keep a float?”

Giovanni gazed at me from the corner of his eye—showing some kind of seriousness in his glare. Then, about as abrupt as a gunshot, his mood switched to the same jolly act he gave me the moment I walked through the door.

“My’a name’s Giovanni,” he stated. “You can call’a me Gio for short.”

A wave of confusion conformed itself inside me. I swore my mind was tricking me with déjà vu.

“Uh, I know already,” I said. “I just want to know how you keep all of this alive. Just curious is all.”

“Keep all of’a what alive?”

“This.”

“This’a what?”

“This business!”

“What’a business?”

Your business!

A short silence enveloped the room. The awkwardness made it seem like minutes. I tried to think of some half-assed apology that would explain both regret for my malice and a reason to leave. However, Giovanni’s friendly charm interrupted me with its own words.

“My’a…business?”

A myriad of relief soared through my head like a dopamine tsunami. “Yes Giovanni, your business.”

“My’a…business you say…oh! Do you want a rock? I made them myself.”

My jaw dropped. I thought it was impossible for someone to be this naïve to their surroundings. Yet, here I am. Alone in a shop with an even emptier shop owner.

“You know what. Forget it. Forget everything I said. I didn’t come here, okay. I don’t even know why I did. I mean, what can I get out of you?! You’re just some person who mines rocks all day. And to top it off you’re as stubborn as a retarded child! I can’t even fathom you.”

I stomped my way en route to the front door. Prior to me opening it, a strong tug yanked my jacket’s shoulder. I spun around to see it was the old man’s hand, clutching my clothes as if his pale leathery fingers belonged to an eagle’s talons.

“Listen’a here sir,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone. “I don’t need’a to take shit from some random city boy. You wanted to know why Imma doing so well for’a myself. Well I told you. But leave it to a city boy to never read’a in between the lines.”

I continued to look at him, more lost than ever.

“Heh…still’a lost I see. Well can you’a remember when I greeted you with open arms? Did you’a see the happiness that filled the room once you entered? That’s because this isn’t a job. This’a is a home. This’a is a home. Unlike the big boys with the thousand dollar suits, I don’ta treat my’a clients like money. They’re people. Good, bad, ugly; they’a are my family, and I do my’a best to provide!”

He let go of my arm. He petted his kangol hat as he sauntered back to his post. I stared at him with some sort of faint respect as he walked. I gave one last look at the store and its motley inventory before heading outside into the monotonous reality. The instant I set foot on the concrete sidewalk, peripheral vision caught the sight of fifty men, women, and children lined outside the entrance of the store. Perplexed, I examined their faces. At first, I didn’t believe they were waiting outside for the stone tailor. But their eager faces spoke otherwise.

Behind me I was able to hear the man’s distant footsteps patting the woodwork of the interior floor. I turned and to my astonishment I saw something obvious, yet still didn’t notice the first time round.

The sign on the door read in big, bold orange text: “Closed”. 


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