Drinks with Darin
“The chimney needs repointing.” She said it as if it were obvious to everyone. He looked up at the chimney, hoping something there would explain the term.
“Um, you think?”
She let out a laugh; really, an exhale of breathe with meaning, the translation of which was still unclear. His smile seemed the best response. He actually liked how ignorant this woman made him feel. She made him notice things, made him look and see and think about the things in front of him. Had he even truly known there was a chimney on the house? Maybe, as some architectural detail, like molding around the front door, but that it would ever need attention from him hadn’t occurred to him. He looked up at the chimney again. There were some gaps between the bricks where the cement had fallen away; that must be it. Repointing. He was going to save that word, use it when he called . . . who does one call for repointing a chimney?
“I can do that for you next week. I have some time.”
She loved the way he raised his eyebrows instinctively when she said these things. It was his “tell” that proved he had no idea what she was talking about.
“No, you’re right, you’d better call a mason. I know a guy who does good work cheap. I’ll call him and see if he’s clean this month.”
“Yeah, he’s an addict. You know construction workers. But he’s a good guy, solid work. “
No, he didn’t know construction workers. But she did and he found himself remarkably unconcerned that she was going to call this drug addict friend of hers to work on his house. Erin looked over at him and he just smiled and shrugged. That had become his signature move since meeting Jamie, a smile and a shrug. But Erin couldn’t leave it there. Drink just in front of her lips, she had to ask.
“So, Jamie, should we add masonry to your list of talents.”
“Oh, no. I can do basic work in a pinch, but if you can get a guy who knows his shit, then get him. Bob knows what he’s doing; comes from a whole family of bricklayers.”
“And how did you and Bob meet?” Damn Erin, this was not her small talk tone. Would Jamie notice?
“You meet guys on the job. Bob’s one of those guys who works when you need him. You can count on him.”
“You can count on an addict?”
“Well, I wouldn’t trust him with my stash, if that’s what you’re after, but he’ll do good work.” Her smile did nothing to help clarify if she was joking about the stash or not. Darin didn’t care; he loved the way she delivered this line as casually as Erin held her drink. She could hold her own, this one. “Who needs a drink?”