Michael Thiele is a woodsmith who makes musical instruments and playable furniture. He spends most of his life either in the shop or out on the road buying wood and selling his work at craft shows. In recent years, his travels have begun to inspire his own writing, so he sends me his thoughts.
On the road
At The Bank
Prominent cheek bones. Sunken cheeks. Jutting square chin with a salt and pepper goatee. Far more salt than pepper. Tall, compared to me and skinny. Wide, but skinny. Know what I mean? He was much wider than he was thick. Even his butt. Wide but flat, lending to way baggy jeans. Wranglers. A peculiar girth by my observation.
Then there was the Harley Davidson of somewhere sweatshirt. I say of somewhere because that part was badly faded. And, as you may have noticed, somewhere could quite literally mean anywhere in Harleyland. I have seen huge Harley dealerships in the absolute dead center of nowhere - not just cities.
In the small moment that he turned sideways I noticed his glasses. Wire rimmed they were, with those miniature clear lenses. Specs. Pop bottle thick lenses implying particularly questionable vision. He looked like a newspaper pressman from back in the day but sans the ink blackened coveralls and the folded newsprint head cover. Saw lots of them back in the sixties when I worked for the Arizona Republic.
No nonsense. Chain tethered wallet. Staring straight ahead except when he suddenly jerked that head sideways as if something had forced his attention, then just as rapidly back forward. I watched, thinking about the guy and wondering about his story.
The mouse voice that escaped him when he addressed the teller took me completely by surprise. I would have thought that his long torso, neck to waist, possessed long vocal cords and a large voice box from whence would issue deep and sonorous sounds. So much for expectations. I listened as he squirreled out his request for large bills. Maybe he’s buying an Electra Glide or a Road King. Cash talks.