The photo is from 1978. My son, his truck. Behind him, my truck.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Starting Out

Saturday, September 3, 1983

At Plum Court Apartments in Sunnyvale the new carpets are too high, causing doors to drag.  I'm here to trim them.  The entire unit was refurbished after an old couple moved out.

The walls are utterly bare.  The tenants have no furniture.  No chair, no table, nothing.  Two sleeping bags zipped together.  The plush carpet will be their bed.

They look like kids,
so strong and fresh.
Bright paint in the kitchen.  
Tattoos on young flesh.
The girl has one large cardboard carton; the boy, a backpack.  There's an air of hasty arrangement in their move.  Amid the high energy there's a gentleness between them, a constant checking of eyes.  Little touches.  Fingertips.  They are totally in synch.  Buoyant.  Inspiring.

Besides the box and backpack, they have a kitten which is mewing and lapping water from a bowl on the kitchen floor.  From a small radio, strange drums are blasting.

"Just married?" I ask.

"Not yet," the boy says.

The girl smiles at him, blushing.

"Oops.  Sorry," I say.

"It's cool," the girl says.

Are you pregnant?  I want to ask.

The young woman is counting their money: not enough for a pizza.  "Top Ramen," she says, and she fills a pot with water.  She glances at the boy, bites her lip, a spark in her eye.  She turns to me.  "Are you almost done?"

"I'll be out of your way in a minute," I say.

They're so in love.  So sweet.  So simple.

There's hope for us all.

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