Saturday, August 11, 2012
The Eye of the Beholder
When I parked my car, I saw a menacing young man, arms and neck covered with tattoos, standing in the driveway. I knew I had the right house because I had been here before, and it was the middle of the day, so I took a deep breath, gave him a curt nod, and walked quickly to the front door. The lady of the house let me in as always, and I spent some time with her dying husband, and then sat and talked with her. As I opened the door to leave, I felt myself tense; the man, with his shaved head and surly expression, was still there, between the front door and my car. Just then, the old lady said to me, 'oh come and see my garage. My husband used to do all this work, but he can't climb ladders and paint any more, so now my little one does it for me,' and she beamed with pride at the man, her grandson. Her “little one,” taller and broader than either of us. In a flash, instead of the face of an angry, dangerous man, I saw the bored expression of my own 7-year-old grandson, and tears burned my eyes.