After a week without a functioning bathroom sink, I called somebody out to unclog it. I got the name of a guy from a coworker, but when I called him he told me that he no longer does drain cleaning. He gave me the name of somebody else - Davey. "He's a good kid, knows what he's doing and is reasonable."
I gave Davey a call in the morning and by 3:00 he was at our house.
When Davey came to the door I was a little taken aback. He looked like he was still in high school but I seem to think that about everybody these days. He was as sweet as could be, shook my hand and introduced himself when he walked in the door and spent a long time petting Henry. I took him upstairs to show him our problem sink. "Oh man, the plumbing in these old houses can be tricky sometimes," he said as he poked around, and while he was doing that we got to know each other a bit.
Davey grew up modestly in a house along the Tennessee River. His older brothers moved to Kansas City years ago and bought an apartment building which they still own. As soon as he turned 18, Davey got in his car to come to the big city where the opportunities were more plentiful. He used to do maintenance for his brothers' building but now he's the night security guard for a different building. His rent and utilities are paid in full as a perk of the job and and so he does side jobs during the day to make some extra money.
When he went downstairs to get his tools he looked around the living room and said, "Ma'm, I like your house. I really like your house. You got a knack for putting stuff together." We started talking about vintage stuff and curb finds and he pulled his phone out and showed me a picture of a table he got for free in exchange for some drain work. It was impressive.
Geez, Davey, you're a kid after my own heart.
Before long I could hear the water running and draining upstairs and went to check things out. He was cleaning up the black sludge that had come out of the pipe and while he was doing that he told me about the time he was drunk and decided to ride his bike home instead of getting in the car with his brothers. The next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital. He crashed his bike into a tree, and thankfully, a cop happened by and saw the bike which led to the badly injured Davey. He had a concussion and didn't come to for 19 hours. The next two years, he said, he was loopy. "Couldn't remember anything. I've smoked a lot of pot over the years, but even after all that with the accident I prefer whiskey to weed. I kind of manage that a little better now after what happened to me, though."
Geez, Davey, you need to be careful.
When he had put everything away and it was time to pay him, he told me how last week he hit somebody crossing the street with his car.
You hit somebody with your car?
"Not bad, but it scared both of us," he said. "I pulled my car around the corner to get out of traffic and went to check on her and that's when somebody stole my gun. Right off my front seat. Just helped themselves to it. I think I know who it was, too. I remember her good. We'll meet up again and I'll get my gun back."
A gun, Davey? You have a gun in your car? Like right now in my driveway?
"Gotta have it, Ma'm, when you're a security guy like me. Don't worry, though, it's not on the front seat."
"Okay, well here's my card if you need anything else. I don't do plumbing because that would require a lot more tools than I have right now. I keep it simple and just do drain cleaning so if anything comes up with you or your neighbors give me a call. I'm reasonable, don't you think?"
Yep, Davey, you are.
"Oh and Ma'm, if you need some weed I sell that, too. Three different kinds but I'm liquidating so I'll give you a good price."