The man's eyes were compassionate. There was an understanding fire somewhere in there. The words came like cool water suddenly flowing from volcanic rifts......"You can renovate it yourselves...donated supplies...a shelter to share...help each other..." Ten of us listened and wondered if it were true or just another mirage of the mind - pipedream of some overzealous unanchored idealist. Two slid off down the street. Eight of us followed in wait-and-see reserve careful to put hope on hold.(10)
I could feel the ray penetrating my skin. The sun was pulsing out there throwing charge after charge of solar light and heat onto buildings and sidewalks. The city seemed to swell and murmur sliggish with great heat and congestion. We moved trancelike through the door into dusky depth of the creaking old gymnasium. We had work to do - a place to stay - each other - and tomorrow. Eyes made a slow adjustment and ageing details of the dusty abandoned building came into focus. One more from the group dropped out and left. Tired walls. Rough rotting floors. Dust-caked half-broken windows. A rat scurried across the floor. "It'll be a challenge - said Warren. "It's a promise" - Rick suggested. Sandy wailed. Jill sank on the floor in eloquent silence. It's a home - " I offered.(11)
"Scooter" . . .what a crazy name. It sounded like something out of :"Happy Days". Did people ever really live like that ? The red-haired crinkle-eyed tall column of bone and flesh had a whimisical smile. "I got it in the tenements. . . it's a put-down. . ." he said and the crinkles spread . . . "didn't like all the hassle and hustle . . . when things rumbled I scooted. . ." Warren was painting around the windows. The new glass let in just the right light to wash the gym in mellow sundown. We femmes were setting up cots. Rick hammered a kitchen into identity. Scooter was sanding the floor in the last unfinished corner where a long board table would go. Nobody worked any harder than Scooter that summer. Not even Rick. " They always thought I was afraid. . .I just didn't like that way. . ." Something we all understood.