The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Early Morning


Caleb was crying as I left him on the second day at his new daycare. I think he cried not for me, but missing his mother’s hug and kiss that morning as he slept on while she walked out the door at 4:30 am.  Going to daycare was the best for all of us. Everywhere we go he watches other kids and tries to interact with them. Socializing is important for him, but his crying face stuck with me all day.

I drove a couple of blocks and parked. Early morning is a great time of day to walk. Kids were bouncing a basketball as they walked to the busway.  I was on a street intersected by the walkway to the bus. I had been on this street before for a tour of empty houses. One side of the street was inhabited. the other side abandoned. Were these abandoned houses beyond repair or just waiting for a loving touch? Each vacant day takes them closer to collapse. On the boarded up windows and doors were murals to beautify the emptiness. A tall dark-haired man smoking a cigarette walked behind me to avoid my camera.

“Do you live around here?” he asked.

Was he part of neighborhood watch or just making conversation? I told him that I lived in another section of the city but liked to photograph graffiti and murals. He was a carpenter who was walking to his newly purchased home a block away. He had worked on several of the houses on this block. He told me the one on the end meeting the cross street was beautiful inside and the inhabitant lived on the third floor with a small dog. The house directly across was a rental as was one further down that side. Squatters were inhabiting the one at the end beside the busway walk. The man in one of the houses was nice. This was my local historian.

On another block, I noted medallions affixed to the brick walls of the Landmarks Preservation Resource Center. A plaque on the side of the building explained that these Charles Keck-designed metal medallions once decorated the defunct Manchester Bridge. On the other side of the building was a fenced garden of metal scrap metamorphosed into art. As a couple passed me, they commented on the anticipated warm weather that would be more fitting for my easily donned flip-flops that chilly morning.

In the late afternoon, my daughter and I picked up my grandson who did have a good day after his cry. I waited by the car as Cary stopped to talk to someone. When I asked if she knew him, she said. “Yes. Who would talk that long to someone they didn’t know?” I don’t know who would do that.

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