Friday, September 21, 2012

Confederate Island Neighbor

There’s a skinny old guy kitty-corner from us living in a beat up old trailer with a confederate flag flying among about two hundred bicycles assembled on his front lawn. The other day I was up on a ladder outside on the side of the house, pulling staples and boards, prepping the house for painting. He rode up on his bicycle and said, “Were you the one hanging clothes out the other day?” I affirmed. He said, “Remember when I was talking to you a few months ago and you were talking to your mom on the phone? Where are you from? Darryl's living in the past. Darryl thinks women should stay at home, cooking and taking care of the kids. I’m Darryl. I don’t go anywhere my bike can’t take me. Technology is bad. Cars, they take you places you should not go. A  woman’s place is in the home. Do you know the Amish? They don’t use cars.” I didn’t say anything. This time I was on the phone with my sister who lives in Portland, Oregon. I didn’t tell Darryl I was talking to her. She heard the whole thing, entertained by the funny accent and ideas. I've been told he's schizophrenic and had some hard knocks in the past. He rides past our house on the sidewalk about six times a day I’d guess. Last week I saw him in the town over which is about twelve miles away, looking a little confused. I've heard that he bikes there every day. I'm not surprised- almost every time I hop on my bike I run into him. He always says hi and something about loving bikes.

(I sneakily shot this photo from my bike the other day after I'd seen Darryl up the road going the other direction. There are more bicycles across the street and hidden in the trees.)

No comments: