“I can wait; she’s worth waiting.”
“Now you know what it’s like to be a presenter; everyone wants a piece of you.”
After the Dirty Pig Leather Contest, I packed up my kit and headed down to the Cigars and Services event in the Pavilion. It had already been underway for a bit, but I was the first bootblack to arrive. After retrieving a few chairs, I made a place for us at the edge of the stage, opened my kit back up, and waited.
While arranging the bootblack area, I happened to bump into SirRonC. He introduced me to his friend, Prophet, and inquired if I was doing cigar service for anyone. I informed him I was not, but that I was bootblacking at the front.
I ate ash from Prophet’s hand, a new experience for him. I also offered to check on him throughout the night to see how he was doing.
My first set of boots was a fellow classmate from earlier that day. As I worked on his boots, we chatted. His leather was new and needed little attention other than a standard cleaning and conditioning. My services were soon complete and he was on his way.
As I waited at the bootblack station for my next pair to work on, Rabbit approached. He was to be another bootblack for the event. He left to retrieve his kit and came back as I was working on my next pair.
My next set of boots were far more difficult than my first.
Pendragon sat down in my chair. As I looked on his leather, I silently cursed. He had been working to help bring the camp back from the storm. As such, his leather was beyond dirty.
I worked hard to clean all the mud and grass from his boots. I earned my tip from him.
As I worked on Pendragon’s boots, I heard people behind me. One voice I recognized was Stefanos. He was to be next in my chair.
At least, I thought he was to be next.
Once I finished Pendragon’s boots, his companion, who had quietly sat on the stage floor next to him, sat in my chair. Neither her nor Pendragon informed me she also needed my service.
Stefanos was not put off. “I can wait; she’s worth waiting.”
I informed Pendragon’s companion that I would be right back. I wanted to check on Prophet since it had been a spell since I last saw him.
As I stood up to step away, Gray, who had been chatting with Stefanos behind me, grabbed my attention for a moment.
“Now you know what it’s like.”
“Now you know what it’s like to be a presenter; everyone wants a piece of you. Just remember, keep something for yourself.”
I took his comment with a grain of salt and rushed off to find Prophet. He was indeed good. His cigar was near finished, with no ash for me to eat though. I politely asked to be released from assisting him, my bootblacking obligation being more than I initially realized. He graciously agreed.
Back at my station, I worked on the companion’s boots. These were her first pair and they were beautiful. I consulted with Rabbit as to how I should condition them. Once done, both she and I were pleased with the results. She walked away happy.
And then Stefanos sat down in my chair…
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