I see people as stories I don't know, which sounds like a strange thing, doesn't it? But everybody has a story, and that story is who they are.
Next to our house there is a small apartment building. There are probably four or five apartments in it. It used to be owned by a friend, but he and his wife gave up on the rental business, sold out, and moved to Michigan. They offered their buildings to us and they are on the right street, but they did business differently than we did, which is they paid big money for their buildings (compared to us, I suppose). We buy run down things at low price and then reconstruct them to something that suits us. We avoid going into debt. In his mind, he was selling us buildings that were fixed up, which would command a higher price. In our mind, he was selling us buildings that needed work, which meant we were unwilling to pay those prices.
I'm not saying these were bad landlords. It's just a different way of doing business. Poorly fixed up places are cheaper. They also draw different tenants. These people are not bad tenants either. They are just struggling people who are doing the best they can. They rent what they can afford.
So today, in front of the building next door, there was a very beat up minivan, a lot of body damage. They were loading a full size sofa and a matching chair on top, both in very poor condition, that fake leather stuff with the vinyl coating peeling off. It was also a very unstable load. They were also packing that van full of things.
It is the end of the month. I'm going to guess that they couldn't make rent and were ducking out before the landlord came looking for it. It happens.
Backing out of my own driveway, I noticed they were stacking things on the porch to be loaded.
The little car seat broke my heart.
Later, coming home from church, I stopped to let a young man cross in front of me. He was wearing a hoody and he gave me a strange look. Angry, very stern. I wondered why at about the same time that I caught movement in my peripheral vision. A young woman with tears running down her face, wrapped in a blanket was running at my car, which scared me a bit...until she passed behind me, and I saw that she was running after the young man.
She pulled at him and he pulled away and kept on walking, and she kept following along, pleading with him and pulling at his arm, while he shook her off repeatedly and walked on without looking at her.
If I could give that young girl any advice, it would be this: let him go. Any relationship is going to have hard times. If one partner is not committed enough to talk it through, it's not going to work. She might get it fixed this time, but the next disagreement is inevitable.
I turned down my street and the van next door was just pulling away. The furniture overhung the car roof front, sides and back. and it rocked side to side in a jerky way. The van was traveling very slowly, but it was headed for the New York state line. They had a stretch of highway to negotiate. I doubt very much they were going to make it.
Ed? The tiniest of tiny stories here: I was working in the garden and I am pretty sure that I am seeing asparagus, teeny tiny asparagus. I am afraid to get too excited about it.