No glove, no love. He was an engineer, and I mean the real mathematician engineer type. The type who worked with the absolute and resolute, and not the finite philosophy…if that, then see this.
With the thick black-framed glasses, orthodox haircut, cotton-twill dress shirts with the Sears pin-striped neckties, penny-loafers…he just had the whole math-collar preppy look defined down to the scientific gray matter. I read him like the book he followed. Nice, pleasant, but a prudish nerd. I didn’t even fool around with a flirtatious dialogue. He wouldn’t have understood a thing I said, or so I thought.
His business with me was having me hem his pants, or replace broken zippers, or sew on missing buttons… little stuff unmarried mathematicians didn’t usually tend to. There were a few others whose clothes I repaired too, one being a bubbly young woman who told me about this Halloween party. She asked if I wouldn’t mind making costumes for the party, which I humbly accepted.
Within the first week a few people came over to have costumes made. There was a red devil, a jester, a playboy bunny, and a few more along the adult theme line.
“Man,” it crossed my mind… “this is going to be one swinging Halloween party!”
The following week a few more stopped by for costumes...a vampire, a pimp, the belly dancer… and then there was the mathematician who told me he would have to describe the costume he wanted made.
He pulled a poly/cotton broadcloth blend of fabric from a bag. Natural in color, the type fabric sold in bulk, though he pulled out what I’d estimate was eight yards. It was quite a bit of fabric, but then he was a tall man…about 6’5”- 6’6”.
The way he traced his finger around the fabric, showing me how I was to cut it, I quickly picked up the costume was to cover him from the top of his head to his feet, plus there needed to be extra fabric left at the bottom to roll up a few inches.
But by the puzzled look on my face, he felt it would be better to draw the costume he wanted. I agreed, handing him pencil and paper, to watch him draw what looked like a baby’s bottle. It was exactly what he traced on the fabric using his finger.
Still puzzled, mostly because I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just tell me what he wanted, like everyone else had, or maybe brought me a pattern, I just smiled and thanked him for trusting me with the project. The design wasn’t much trouble to handle at all. In fact, his costume would be the easiest to make. It only required making sure he had two peepholes to see out of and a tip at the top, with a few inches of fabric left to roll up at the bottom. The only kicker I couldn’t get out of my mind was the stress he put on making sure there was that tip at the top.
A couple days later everyone picked up their costumes, to include the mathematician. He smiled when he saw what I’d done for him. It was exactly what he wanted, except a few weeks later the super bubbly woman stopped by. She was dropping off jeans to have zippers replaced, and eager to know how I felt about making the mathematician’s costume. His costume apparently was the life of the party.
I didn’t know what to say…other than I enjoyed working with the mathematician. He was a super nice man, always so polite…and of course, I was very excited that everyone enjoyed his costume and what I’d done.
She looked at me, as if she was waiting for more. But I had no more to say. I couldn’t tell her I thought it was really strange with the way he handed me the job. I wouldn’t have dared said a word, not with him being so nice.
But that wasn’t good enough for the super bubbly woman. “Do you know what it was he had you make?”
I had to be honest. I really didn’t know. “No, he never told me,” I said.
And she laughed loud, just as bubbly as always. “He came as dressed as a...”
...and no tricks, but if you’re unable to guess, then the answer can be found inside Storytella.