I’m moving away from “school stories” today and going back to my human interest thoughts for a moment. My daughter, who is an adult, has a heart of gold for people. She works in a bookstore and when an elderly man called and asked if a Bible could be delivered on the weekend she told him that they don’t deliver on the weekends. This 71 year old man went on to explain that he needed this Bible for a study he’s doing and that he has no car and can’t take the bus to get to the store due to vertigo – he falls over when he’s on it. My daughter offered to deliver the Bible on her way to work the next day; even though he lives on the opposite end of the city and she lives across the road from the bookstore. See? ♥ of gold!
I went with her. Mother Bear will NOT let her cubs go where it could be unsafe. I even walked up to the apartment with her. What I saw made me want to cry. This gentleman lives in an old hotel room. they must be circa 1960’s with one room which holds his couch/bed, sink, microwave, closet and entertaining area. I never eyed a refrigerator. He asked us to sit down but I’m not sure where that would have happened. Cozy is a comforting word to me; this was just plain cramped. We were struck by how it smelled like vinegar. The paint was peeling where the 1978 air conditioner stuck out from under the one window. He had a fan blowing to keep air circulating and his dishes were stacked on the counter for lack of a cupboard. He said that everything in the apartment was furnished. After he made a joke of the landlord calling it a “suite” he revealed he pays $720 a month to live here; that’s 1/2 of his monthly pension. I almost choked! I thought about how much we pay for our 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhouse with living room, kitchen, family room and laundry/storage facilities and I had all I could do to keep myself from demanding the name of his landlord, locking him in this dwelling for a month and forcing him to live with a microwave to cook with and a single sink to wash both his veggies and face in. And at the end of that little experiment demanding 1/2 of his monthly income in return.
Is it possible that when I’m 71 I’ll be living in an old hotel room with only a microwave to cook my food with? Or is it possible that I might be that landlord who forces people to live in such a place? You know, if I had my choice, I’d take the life of a poor man than the life of a greedy one. I’m pretty sure I’d sleep better at night on a couch with a lump and a sound mind than in a queen size bed with a down duvet and a guilty conscience.