Tuesday, January 23, 2018
A mixed bag
First, Napoleon has gotten soooo big! Now that the mercury has risen above freezing for a few days in a row, Napoleon has shed his red winter coat. Made for a chihuahua, the coat is really too big for him and when he's got it on, his head looks so tiny. Without it, I see that at, nearly 8 months old, he's a fully grown cat. And a burly one at that! If he was a high school student, he'd probably consider trying out for the football team.
Randi got the job! I haven't seen her since her big interview, but her husband reports she has been hired as a salon receptionist. She starts this weekend. It's minimum wage, for now. But after she studies up and passes her boards, she'll be welcome to start doing hair there, too. The salon owner was very impressed by Randi's references, and is eager to help her get back on her feet. Caleb says she needs a text book that sells used for $17 and new shoes. I resisted opening my wallet, instead dropping a dollar bill into his cup. I don't want them to depend on me financially. I can't afford it, and besides, I may not be working in the building on that corner much longer.
Caleb has the blues. He drives a forklift for 4-hours overnight, as many nights as they will give him. (Though it's never 5 days in a week, because they don't want to pay him benefits.) Then during the day, he panhandles on the wet, wintry corner. He's tired, and he's getting discouraged. Yes, they have a lead on a room in a home in Boystown. But the man who owns the home is something of a jerk -- he doesn't want to rent to gays, he doesn't want to rent to blacks, so he thought he'd be happy with married and white Caleb and Randi.* But now he wants to charge them weekly, not monthly, which means he can decide each week whether he'll let them stay.* Caleb can help him by working on the house, so that's a point in their favor. But they haven't even moved in yet, and the old guy is already changing the rules on them.
To cheer him up, I brought him a Harry Bosch mystery. I don't know if they're any good, but I do know they're popular. And Caleb goes through books so fast, I swear he eats them!
*Yes, Chicago and Illinois both have ordinances that make this illegal, but then, this is an illegal rental. I'm learning that the unscrupulous will exploit the homeless.