Jean opens his door and greets me, pooh-poohing when I apologize for dropping in. A gracious host, he welcomes me into his beautifully decorated condo. I sit on a sofa and he sets out cheese. I congratulate him on getting Care Bears and he nods, then asks how I’m doing as assistant story editor. I tell him I’m figuring things out. He nods again, deciding to wait to address this.
Suddenly he declares, “I’ve got something to show you!” I follow him to the dining room and see a large box. He pulls the flaps apart and with clumsy effort starts to draw the contents out, revealing, “It’s my computer! Just arrived today!”
Jean’s an amazing human being -- one of the smartest, most talented and generous people I’d ever know. But I think he’d be the first to admit manual dexterity isn’t his strong suit. As he struggles trying to free the computer from the box, I resist the temptation to help, not wanting to go anywhere near the mysterious device.
Finally, he extracts the long, heavy beige metal oblong device I’d learn is called a tower. We’re silent for a moment, as if gazing in awe at some alien descended from a mothership. When he asks if I got my computer yet, I let out an involuntary laugh. Unamused, he says I need to get one so we can learn together. I admire his adventurous nature.
Then, digging in the box again, Jean says, “Come on! Let’s put it together!”