Thursday, August 02, 2007

Moving Day

Say a prayer, or whatever, for my friend Ashby. He and his wife moved out of his apartment completely - the lease is over. Today they were to move into their new place in the lovely Central West End of St. Louis, but of course, the people who were to have moved out had not yet moved out. I imagine the place to be filthy with grease-and-bong-resin stains and retro, gauche communist posters.

Anyway, to cheer you up, Ashby, and you, my loyal readers, I'll regale you with a story, a story I have heard secondhand, the way all great stories come and the way all great adventures begin. Uh, right.

My mom works as a sort of social worker for the local school district here. She helps screen pre-k kids and helps diagnose them with learning disabilities. All of them. She has to do home visits, as well. If you've seen the scene in Broken Flowers where Bill Murray visits Sharon Stone, think of that house and those people, only with a smaller, more mobile-based home, and real midwesterners.

One of her co-workers came in one day after a home visit, and said this:

I was talking to the father. Not the brightest guy, but a real sweet person who clearly delights in his kids. He lives in a double-wide trailer with his wife and three kids, the youngest of whom we were talking about. She has pretty severe learning disabilities and might have mild Down Syndrome. As we're talking, one of his neighbors comes in to ask him a question, interrupting us. The father says, "Can't you see I'm busy right now? We're having a real important conversation." He pointed down the room. "Get in the other room and close your ears so you don't hear what we're talking about."

His friend apologized and walked to the other end of the trailer, knelt, and got under the the couch. When we were finished talking, I walked to the door, which is by the couch. Three pairs of adult legs were sticking out the back of the couch.


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