November 29, 2011

Austin Campground Neighbor

I was standing in the empty Mid-Town Campground laundromat watching the dryer go round. The classy wool jacket I’d bought for $2.40 in a thrift store was stripped of lining, shoulder pads and collar, reduced to bright red wool pieces and washed. New wool is $22/yard. I couldn’t wait for it to get dry, to see how the results would suit me for hooking.

An old man ambled in wearing an old unbuttoned striped cotton shirt, and stopped in front of two quiet dryers. He’s tall, but looks little because he’s so thin. Maybe he’s little but looks tall because he’s so thin. He stood still for a moment and looked around. I could count the ribs sticking out of his pale chest above a scooped-in belly, but didn’t want to stare. Instead, I said hi. “Here I am, once a month!” he announced, and started to unload sheets and worn cotton quilts. He shook each, and piled them one by one on his right shoulder, corners nearly touching the ground fore and aft. The pile began to cover his ear. On to the shirts and jeans in the other dryer, which he laid over his left shoulder. In a bit he had to stack some on top of the sheets. As the pile rose, he tipped a little and peered at me from his left eye, “Only need one eye to see!” The load began to look precarious, and the sheets to drag a bit. I say, “Can I help you?” “Only got 60 feet to go!” he grinned, and walked out.

The red wool looks fabulous!


Funkface said...

Was he a homeless man?

C and G Taylor said...

No, he actually lives in a small older RV here. This park has very diverse residents, including some who seem to have few other options. (This post and the following were actually posted earlier and got moved, somehow.)