People You Meet

After work I hit the gym. 45 min on the treadmill at 6.3mph, a couple of sets of biceps and triceps (but not too much) and then home, as there is a bit of paperwork to do. I pulled into my parking spot as usual, grabbed my slightly sweaty smelling gym bag from the trunk (as usual) and went inside. I stopped to get the paper spam that I invariably get in the mailbox when it’s not the end of the month.

Beside the mailboxes for the apartment is a planting box. Sort of. It’s a shallow gravel and stone filled box perhaps five feet by three feet that used to contain a wide variety of tacky plastic plants. If you didn’t look too carefully it looked only tacky, and not horribly tacky. I say “used” because not that long ago, all the plants were removed. It is still unknown to me if they were removed by their owners or stolen, though I can’t imagine anyone taking such a liking to them as to commit an illegal act and removing them all.

As I collected my mail a man from the building that I hadn’t met before came out of the main doors.

“Good evening,” I said in my chirpiest, isn’t-it-a-wonderful-day voice.

“Haven’t they cleaned that up yet?” he said indicating the “planter”.

“That’s discusting,” he continued gruffly.

“That stinks!” Even more gruffly. “It’s a health hazard.”

“Uh huh,” I replied, now in my oops-can’t-stay-and-talk-have-somewhere-to-be voice, and went upstairs as quickly as I could, to sit down and write about the grumpy old man I met downstairs.