Chapter 1. Introducing Rubin

Rubin glanced at his phone for the third time in ten minutes and cursed himself for doing so. Pushing on the scuffed screen cover of his slightly out of date phone left him with disappointment.

He was, to his mind anyway, cautious. Over the years managers and ex-partners had used words like ‘risk averse’ and to his great pain ‘boring’ but in his head he was careful. The same people would have also voiced their frustration about his ability to make simple decisions, even food shopping was fraught with comparisons and considerations that needed contemplation.  As his mind wandered to the painful moments in his life he phone jumped to life, but it was only another Trump update from the BBC. He decided to turn the phone over now, he wasn’t sure why he did that but he did and then stared into space.

It was fair to say he liked structure, liked knowing what he was doing, where he was going and of course the steps involved. Rubin had passed many hours of research and before committing to a choice, he had spreadsheets on everything from mattresses to cookers. All of which gave him comfort and security in his process.

If making a buying decision about a teapot was difficult, technology purchases were not far off crippling. The phone that refused to display the much anticipated message was at least 2 releases out of date, when slagged by his colleagues he would simply comment on the money he had saved and the madness of the consumer market.

Still nothing on the phone.

Rubin was at home, in his garage to be specific, or as he referred to it, his workshop. This was the one area of his life that was messy. The  length of the house the workshop could easily have taken 3 cars it was so big, if you could get a car in that is. The only clear space was towards the middle of the room everywhere else had piles of woods, textiles and bits of rusty metal, if there was an order to the piles it was not obvious.

The centre of the workshop had a slightly raised area, this was where he fused reclaimed bog oak with metalwork and materials. Rubin felt calm in his workshop, he didn’t mind the clutter and disorganisation in fact in comparison to the rest of his life, it felt… well dirty.

Averting his eyes from his phone, he ran his fingers over the piece of bog oak that he was working on. Tracing the line of the wood he appreciated the smoothness and deep colours of the oak, whilst at the same time considering the other materials that he would add to the piece. His work here had no plan, it just came together, the piece would speak to him, eventually, sometimes it was just a case of waiting to hear what it had to say. This piece of far, had been quiet.

Time would be an issue with this piece, this was his second world, to pay the rent he was in fact an accountant in a fairly large company. Exams and his early training had been easy, logic was easy for him, seeing the bigger picture and being ‘commercial’ was not and he had heard this from managers for years. Those he had trained had passed him on this corporate ladder but he had little concept of why this was a good or bad thing.

His phone buzzed, now it was CNN telling him the story that BBC had beaten them to.

Picking up his sanding block he started to move across the wood, blowing the dust away and running his fingers along the wood. The smell was enchanting.

Maybe the call would come tomorrow…

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