We may have exchanged hellos in another world, talked about our crazy weather, or the springtime crop of potholes. Certainly, he and my father wouldn’t have had much to say to one another, each man in his own category of men, each man respectful of the other’s category but nonetheless separate, apart.
And then we introduce crisis (see diagram).
The first time I saw this man, I thought he is the kind of man who’s never worn his emotion on the outside, because it looked uncomfortable, like it didn’t fit well. Men who work with stone often take on the properties of their medium, or maybe they always felt a kinship that draws them to it.
But now is no time for stone. There is no room for it, it prevents the air, the light from circulating.
My father’s profession requires dispassion in bursts, and that’s where he puts things, tucked away. This situation has an uncanny ability to take a chisel to any structure, any structure at all, and find the weak spot and clink and chip until it gives, cascading rubble high and far.
Last night, though, a connection was forged through the sudden heat of intense fire, and we all saw it. One man to another man. They saw one another.
They understood one another.
In this one area of their lives, they are the same, the absolute same, without a single standard deviation. And right now, it is this one area, and only this one area, that matters.