As the storm neared, Todd checked the tent stakes he had pounded through the wooden floor. It was easier than fixing the roof.
I thought about helping.
The day after the big thunderstorm tore through the city, I went to work as always. Police cars were all over the place, and so was a bunch of shredded insulation, and the company’s roof. Yellow police tape kept me out of the parking lot, so I found a spot up the block and walked down.
I sidled up to Kevin. “Nice of Pankhurst to let us know about this.”
“Sure was. Otherwise we might have wasted our time and come down here today.”
“That roof has looked better.”
“The roof isn’t the interesting thing,” Kevin said. “All these cops wouldn’t be here just for a roof being off. There are roofs off all over the city.”
“So why are they here?”
I throw out
the damaged keepsakes
Mom can’t bear to
Maureen’s fear of driving had never abated, and her foot constantly rode the brake of her two-year-old ’62 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. She had had the brake lights replaced twice. The mechanic didn’t know about Maureen’s bad habit and chalked it up to bad bulbs, missing an opportunity to warn her about the impending consequences of her actions.
Inevitably the day came when it did not matter how hard Maureen pushed the brake pedal or how near to the floor it came: the car would not stop. She was too flustered to think to use the parking brake or to shut the car off. Death and property destruction ensued, but Maureen survived and was released from the hospital after two weeks.
Maureen finally embraced the bitter truth: even when using the brake full time, driving was – for her – unsafe. From now on, she vowed, on those occasions when she had to go beyond walking distance, she would rely on her lucky friends and on taxi drivers.
Some people just seemed to float through traffic, leading charmed lives, never suffering the problems of ordinary folks. It wasn’t fair, she muttered, but that was life.