Monday, November 30, 2009

How is it I Never Met This Guy Before?

This is a short, neighborly story. This weekend Kate and I spent a little time cleaning out the last bits of stuff from the Stevenson Ln. basement. The real estate agent suggested it would make the basement look bigger. By the end we had a completely full truck and a queen size mattress, box spring and an old dining room table to unload. We left it in the alley for bulk trash pick up, which it turns out isn't a service offered by Baltimore County.

I contacted both Salvation Army and Goodwill, the latter of which didn't accept mattresses. The former did, but made it difficult to manage. So I settled on taking everything to the dump. A shame, I know, but what are you gonna do?

The climax of the story, please. Yes, of course. So today I went over early in the morning to tie everything to the roof of the truck for transport. In the middle of hauling all four pieces over to the car a neighbor on the opposite side of the alley came out and offered to help. I was very happy to accept. After lifting the mattress onto the truck it became clear the tying everything down was going to be tricky. Doable, but time consuming. My neighbor...we'll call him Scott because apparently that's his name, then offered to haul everything to the dump himself in his pick up truck. He was heading that way anyway, he said. I tried to refuse, but he was insistent. So I took him up on the offer.

We chatted as we loaded his pick up. Turns out he moved into his house in '98, exactly the same year, and only a month or two earlier than my move in. And in all that time we never had the occasion to meet. Now, eleven years and change later we meet in the twilight of my residency, probably never to speak again, and the guy goes and does an incredibly neighborly thing.

I think people are inherently good. Or rather people, by nature, think of others at least as much as they think of themselves.

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