Last night I came home to find a sweaty, ill-looking, thin black man on my porch with a rake, standing next to Dave. What was I supposed to think? I pulled up the driveway, just returning for a post-gym grocery run when I find the pair on my porch.
I'll admit, since I moved to the city, I have become much less trusting than I was while in Madisonville, or College Station. I didn't have to worry about break-ins or vagabonds as long as I was relatively watchful, but here you have to really keep your eyes open, you have to be alert. People jade me to a certain degree, other times, they astound me.
Which is what Dave did. I was astounded that this seasoned urban male was paying this man $20 to rake a few leaves in our front yard at 9 p.m. That's strange, if not rediculous. I had my purse knife out as I exited the car and approached the porch, concealed at my side. When Dave told me what was going on, no lie, I thought I wet my drawers.
Dave told me in detail about the whole episode once the man left. He said that he had come by a couple of days ago while we were at work and wanted to do our lawn for a few dollars so he could make rent for his shanty. His landlord had locked him out, and if he didn't come up with $35 he would be evicted.
Dave is not known for his bleeding heart, compassion or sympathy. Dave does not do charity unless he is certain about the cause. So, I was puzzled to find that not only had he agreed to deal with this somewhat confounding situation, but he had agreed to allow the man to come back the next day and finishe the job for an additional $40 if he only received $20 that night. According to Dave, the man (I wonder if Dave even got the man's name. He looked like an Ernest.) would return at 8 a.m. and finish the job. Dave would pay him during his lunch break.
Well, Dave just called to tell me that several piles of leaves still remain on our front lawn. Duped!
And yet Dave is still giving the man the benefit of the doubt.
Where did this hope, this naivete come from???