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  • It was one of those times I work as an hodman. Well, it doesn't happen very often, but i love the way being an hodman make me feel. Somekind of freedom, I think. Something like a - I'm earning my pay and I'm doing it my way. So what? - sensation. I think I love it because when you're an hodman you can act as an hodman. I mean, noboby cares. Nobody get surprised if you don't give a shit about the work and just wait for the moment to go home. You can shut down your brain and wait for someone to ask you for an hammer or a screwdriver or what else. You don't mind and it's still ok. 'cause you're and hodman.

    This time I was supposed to help a professional assembler to fit out an art gallery for the inauguration the day after. The exhibition's theme was: architecture. We had to hang to the walls some artworks, french shit from America, they told me.
    The gallery was a long and tight space. White roof, grey walls, black floor. Inside there were five big wooden crates and some sculpure wrapped in a nylon packaging. No way we could finish the work by the time.

    -How much cost this shit?- Alfredo, as the assembler's name was, asked me as we opened the first crate.
    It was a tar block with some cement cast inside as a basement for an house. I looked at it and then I looked at the exhibition's curator, a cute belgian girl I falled in love with the first time I saw her.
    -nine thousand euros and an half- said her with a sharp glance.
    - fuck- Alfredo whispered looking to me. I looked down trying to not encourage him. I know these people are dangerous if they feel somekind of fraternity and I was worried to impress the cute belgian curator so the last thing I wanted was to find myself in an art talk with the assembler.
    -I can't understand- he continued as I had allowed him to do it someway- We have to break our ass all day long for an handfull of euros and some jerk can sell this shit for nine thousand? Damn. And It's all for the name, you know. You eard about that piece of shit putted an urinal upside down and sold it for... I don't know, hundred thousand? All for the name.-
    - Duchamp- I said.
    - What?-
    - Marchel Duchamp. The name you're talking about. Is the readymade creator. There was a concept behind the urinal, a very important one-
    - Whatever- he replied confused. He didn't expect me to talk like that. I was an hodman.

    It toke us half an hour to gauge where to hole the wall and Alfredo never stopped to complain us for being hodmans.
    -We could do it faster, less carefully. All this measures and than, who knows...- Alfredo sayd handling a big drill.
    -Who know what?- I asked.
    -The drill. Somethimes it goes where he wants and you can't give a fuck.- sayd him starting to drill.
    Anyway the holes were done in the right place and we fix the artwork to the wall. Alfredo wanted to take a moment to smoke a cigarette, he didn't care about the timing. It was late but he didn't care. He was a prefect hodman. We had a coffe, he smoked, we talked about his car, an old Renault Scenic with too much miles on the odomether. Alfredo sayd he wanted a new one, but he couldn't afford it.
    - Times ago,- he sayd - I worked for the cinema. I built the set. It was an hard work but lot of money. Now you need to be the productor's brother or a friend of him.
    It sounded like a bullshit, but I didn't say anything. I just waited him to ask for an help, looking around and chatting on my phone.
    At half past eight p.m. I toke my wage, 50 euro cash, not so bad and I came back home.
    The gallery was ready.
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