usually asks that the job you are hiring him to do also includes
a job for his younger cousin Melvin. Together with Melvin and
his Uncle Tito, Melvin’s father, Lionel lives in an indistinct
concrete block building without lights or power or running water
on a road that comes complete with them all.
says that he is twenty-seven and that Melvin just recently turned
twenty-one. I first met Lionel in front of his home which I
pass by each time I make my way down the road to my own.
day as I passed I was offered for purchase a small green Parakeet.
Since that day, Lionel or Melvin have tried to sell me everything
from fake Maya artefacts to shotgun shells to over ripe oranges.
it comes to negotiating for carpentry work tendered by the Lionel
and Melvin Construction Company Limited, Lionel does all the
talking, as Melvin avoids all eye contact whatsoever. The duo
of Melvin and Lionel work quite well together moving in unison
in their carpenter’s dance with the tools as they carve
this or hammer and concrete that. Never once have I heard of
them having words with each other, a rarity in the delicate
world of construction workers.
the end I guess the only real problem with Lionel and Melvin
is that everyone in the village refers to them both as 'the
local thieves'. That's right, the villagers almost unanimously
say that when Melvin steals in the night he robs while completely
nude. They say he does so in order to escape being caught by
having nothing to be held on to grab.
the malicious rumours and the occasionally misplaced machete
during the course of any given work project the two are employed
to carry out, the villagers have all hired Lionel and Melvin
and continue to do so as I write. For the cousins are extremely
talented when it comes to being fair and honest contractually
as it pertains to their chosen trade. I guess you might say
in their case, one man's thief is another man's savoir.