The softness of the elephant
January 19, 2009
I met a fascinating man the other day. A huge man he was. Humongous. So big, there is not a single wrinkle on his face, even though he must have been in his late forties.
But in his own special way, he was beautiful. His voice, coming from underneath the vastness of his chest, was deep and rich. He looked Nepalese, or Assamese, or Bhutanese: big slanty eyes, a moon-shaped face, cappuccino-colored skin. He had the softness only very big people have, painfully aware that they are elephants in the china shop. His smile was warm and contagious, lighting up his large, flawless face.
He was a Buddha, an elephant, a mountain of a man in his tiny little shop.
The best part was his conversation. He certainly wasn’t stupid, but somehow in English his words seemed to have a life of their own. Mixing up the most improbable names, he spoke as a poet unaware of his own genius.
When I first met him, the economic meltdown had just started. I asked him whether he had felt its effects on his business.
“Certainly, he said, people is tight-upping themselves now.”
I loved it. I asked him whether he thought it’d last.
“It will last until the markets’ concert. After, if they will decide to embrace the transparent screen, maybe it will make people less afraid.”
I pictured an extravagant opera starring the Reserve Bank and Bernard Madoff, with dancers undulating around curtains of glass. The big markets concert.
“Yes, I said, transparency. I think Obama is going to have a lot of work.”
“Oh yes, America, America, he replied, agitated. But you know, in America, the Ossama, he is no magician that he can save all the bank!”.
My big Buddha, my sweet elephant, you made my day.