The Ladder

It was a warm sunny morning and the sun had just made its way above the palm trees and buildings in the east. The streets are narrow and busy with early morning traffic. A dog scurries down an alleyway, and people greeted each other in Spanish with a smile or a a simple Hola. The aroma of coffee wafted from the little cafés along the cobblestone street. Life was slow to begin in this quaint little Mexican town situated in the heart of state of Guanajuato.

Marco and Javier rode to work together. Depending on the job, it was not usually a long ride to their workplace. They went to where their work was needed. Today the job they were about to do was situated on a third-floor roof above a quaint little restaurant in the colonial District. And for this job they simply needed a ladder. It is a bit of a challenge, two men on a motorcycle , and on top of that, they need to transport the ladder. Usually it is Marcus on the back with a ladder on his shoulders while Javier navigated his way through the cobblestone streets. A motorcycle is hard enough on cobblestone streets, then you add in a ladder ,the degree of difficulty increases. This is how they operated and they were kind of used to it.

Today it is Javier guiding the ladder through the streets of town, as he hurt his shoulder yesterday when he slipped and fell on a damp newly mopped kitchen floor. Admittedly Javier suspects he is the better driver while his partner is the master of navigating the ladder. But today he’s going to have to navigate the ladder, through the streets. On the first right hand turn, three blocks past , the coffee shop Marco suddenly veers right and the ladder barely misses a young woman walking out of a high scale boutique.

“ That was a close call ” Javier yells from just behind the ladder and Marco barely make out the words. Marco shifts the motorcycle into a lower gear as to better navigate a hill that winds up a difficult incline. This is a street where people expect traffic and they respectfully almost automatically move out of the way. He makes a quick left turn at the top of the hill then His partner, due to the lack of deep attention , loses his grip on the ladder and it releases suddenly from his grip. The ladder slides down the newly moistened street and comes to rest in front of neatly stacked mangoes and watermelon. display. The ladder narrowly misses a dog that was about to relieve itself on the street corner. Luckily the owner gave a quick pull on the leash, this allowed the ladder to narrowly miss the bewildered dog.

“la escalera está causando problemas” barked Marcos to the amused pedestrian on the busy street. In response, many in the crowd chuckled and their laughter elevated when the dog decided to leave its mark on the ladder. A few tourists took photographs, then Marcos put the ladder on his shoulders and hopped back on the back end of the motorcycle.

Punctuality is in not the norm here, however they wanted to be semi on time for their job today. The earlier they started the cooler it would be. Javier started the motorcycle, louder than the situation dictated, and Marcos held on tight. Walking across the store was a man of many hats. He was not a versatile man, rather his only great skill was that he could balance many hats on his head. He sold sombreros and hats to tourists and locals. To get around town he balanced every hat he had on top of his head. He walked across the square with confidence, and an air of jocularity. A strong wind sent the man of many hats zig-zagging across the the central part of town. Marcus accelerated the bike when he should not have, and the man of many hats veered unexpectedly . This was a case of two wrongs making a right. If either party would have kept on the same course there would have been a hilarious collision of epic proportions. Marcus kept riding, as if he knew what he was doing and the man of many hats stopped to make his first sale of the day. The ladder continued on its way.

Usually their rides to work where not as whimsical as this. They made it to the work site pretty much on time. Marco walked the ladder to the third story with a great deal of satisfaction. While Javier remain ended on the first floor discussing details for the job to be done, Marco started extending the ladder so that it would reach the rooftop above. Unfortunately, the ladder seemed to have jammed, more than likely as a result of the accident ten minutes previous.

A spot of bother imbedded in the back of his mind, as how where they to do the detail work, to the ceiling, they promised the client?

As he struggled with the jammed ladder, he heard Javier enter the room. Once they started working, he was a man of few words.

“Marco, the client has some scaffolding on order. It should be here soon. They would rather us use scaffolding as they think it would be safer. I see their point.”

“That’s fine with me” Marco responded with a hint of muted frustration and then added.

“Are you okay to drive tomorrow, I would rather navigate?”