Monday, July 23, 2012
P4E.247 Enrique Says...
There was a lull in our garage sale. It was already warm that mid-morning and all of the serious pickers had come and gone. A car pulled up and a small, Hispanic, man got out and walked up into our driveway. He was dressed in khaki beige hat, shirt and shorts with sandals. We said, "Good Morning" and he began to look over our remaining treasures.
To make conversation, I said "It's going to be a hot day today!" The man nodded and was silent for a minute as he continued to browse. Then, he said, " Jyou know...so many people...they complain...eets too hot...eets too cold. Een the morning...eef I open my eyes...eef I breathe the air in...I so happy! I jess glad to be alive...jyou know?" He was gesturing with his hands, exploding his fingers away from his eyes and gathering the air into his lungs. I agreed with him. I was surprised and touched by this little man's bit of driveway philosophy. "What is your name?", I asked. "Enrique."
Enrique continued, "Why should I complain? Everyone's in so much of a hurry, jyou know? Eef I see someone come behind me in the car...I move over...I get out of the way..I let them go by!" He steps aside and gestures to pass. Then he throws his hands in the air and tilts his head as if trying to understand the mentality of the impatient motorist. "I jess glad to be alive, jyou know?" "Sometimes life eets hard...I hurt my back and my knee workeen, so I'm on disability right now." I hadn't noticed the brace on his knee until he pointed it out. "I use to own a house over here, but I lost it. Now, I rent an apartment. But, I have my wife...I have my jyoung sons...I have enough to eat...I open my eyes in the morning...I breathe the air in...Why should I complain?"
Gwen had been listening, and said "You should be a pastor!" Enrique blushed, spread his hands, and said, "But, you see, I don't have the religion!" Gwen and I both protested, "But, you do!" Trying to reassure Enrique, I confessed to him, "We don't go to church either, Enrique. We don't think that you have to go to church to "have the religion."" Enrique nodded. He said, "Let me tell you somesing. I used to live in L.A. and you know they built that church there for 200 millions of dollars! Think what could be done with that money! There are peoples, children in Africa..." Here, Enrique put his fingertips together and motioned to his mouth. "They have nothing to eat! And, the church spends 200 millions on a building! Well, you don't have to go so far as Africa. You only have to go to Mexico. This is why I don't have the religion."
Well, we exchanged phone numbers and I intend to stay in touch with Enrique. I want to hear more of what Enrique says. If he doesn't have the religion, then neither do I.
This post has been shared at L.L. Barkat's