The suburban street on which I lived for nine years (1986-1995) in Houston never required sweeping. I never swept it, and no mechanized street-sweeper ever passed by either. It just stayed clean.
The situation in my hardscrabble barrio now, however, is quite different. It often requires sweeping, and if I don’t do it, nobody does. I did it this morning after a lengthy spell of ignoring it.
The photo does not do the situation justice. It was worse than it appears. First, I use a rake to sift up the plastic cups, the junk-food wrappers, pieces of tossed paper, etc., left by ill-bred passers-by.*
That all goes into a trash can. Then, using a broom and dustpan, I sweep the sidewalk and, far worse, the street of dirt.
The dirt goes into a bucket — two trips today — and I lug it down the street — it’s heavy! — just beyond the white wall on the right side, and I heave it into a ravine.
Speaking of my previous home in Houston, as I’ve mentioned here in the past, I gifted it to my ex-wife a few months after our divorce. Though she was living there, it was entirely mine, but I was concerned about her, and I stupidly gave it to her. What was I thinking?
She did send me a nice card which said: Thank you forever!
Forever was short-lived.
We continued on good terms for the five years I remained in Houston. When I moved to Mexico in 2000, I asked if I could park my pickup in her driveway because I did not know if my Mexico adventure would pan out. When it did, I asked if she could sell the pickup a year later.
Nah, didn’t want to be bothered. I had to fly up there and do it myself.
Just recently, due to our advancing years, I emailed and asked if she has me down to get my house back if she dies before me. Nah, she’s leaving it to someone else.** It’s worth about a quarter-million dollars now, far more than
we I paid for it in 1986.
And she doesn’t even have to sweep the street.
*That’s what my Houston neighborhood lacked: ill-bred passers-by.
**She’s never remarried and has no children, so Lord knows to whom she’s gifting
the my house.