Two years after dropping out of University of Victoria’s writing program, Sean found himself working in a stone quarry, splitting rocks with a chisel and sledgehammer during the hottest day of the summer.  One other guy was working with him.  At one point the other guy rested his sledgehammer on his thigh, squinted at Sean's feet, and said in a low, strangled voice, “I am prepared to take you seriously if you find it absurd, and to find you absurd if you take it seriously.”  
    This was followed by a long pause, neither man moving.