John, you and I have several things in common. We share a love of boats, boats that demand our time, care, and attention. It is a truism that we give our boats much more than we ever get back – a fact that took me years to accept. And still I continue: a lifetime of applying endless coats of varnish to something that will get tossed into the ocean and look like hell after a single season, only to be scraped down and varnished again come spring.
We share a love of the theatre. We spent our earlier years working backstage prepping for singers, dancers or actors – whomever was about to cross the stage. We were there in the wings, working magic.
And, speaking of wings, we share a love of pets that will not die. You are saddled with a knife-throwing parrot. I landed a much less life-threatening tortoise. Who will outlive each other is anyone’s guess, but my bet is on the parrot and the tortoise. It turns out, there may be a downside to pets that will never ever go away.
Lastly, we share a certain office decor aesthetic. We do our best work in an environment that is pleasing to look at. There will always be room for a piece of art, well-designed chopsticks, a working model with wooden gears.
Upon my retirement, I bequeath to you, John, my jaunty wire vase. It could be used as a pencil holder. It could hold a candle and be comfortable on your patio table next to a glass of red wine. The vase comes with a mechanical parrot, a bonus which, of course, requires no explanation.