The Bracelet, East Reeb Avenue, Columbus, Ohio
"That’s a pretty dog you have. What kind is it?"
"I like to refer to him as a Golden-Collie."
"Can I pet him?"
"Sure. He’s friendly."
I approached her, stepped up onto the front porch of the two-family split house and was greeted with a sour blend of mold and urine. The scent of poverty. An older woman and a man on the cusp of middle age slumped forward on a porch swing next door, chain smoked cigarettes, and passed words back and forth in a strained Appalachian dialect.
"Come out here and take a look at this pretty dog!"
A boy and a girl of adolescent years appeared from behind the storm door and stared in silence at my dog. Behind them, an obscure figure of a young boy peered out at the action, but never left his place on the couch. Perhaps unimpressed by my dog’s gentle demeanor or intimidated by the gentle lead wrapped around his snout like a muzzle, the adolescent boy stepped back inside to watch television while the girl proceeded outside.
"Our dog just died."
"Oh yeah? How old was he?"
"She was 10. But we have a new dog now."
Just then I realized constant high pitched barking coming from the back of the house.
"What kind of dog did you get?"
"A pit. You’re dog sure is nice."
Unlike the girl, the woman in the chair never looked past the bracelet she was creating nor my dog.
"So when do you think they’ll start redeveloping along Parsons? It’s been a huge empty lot for over a year now."
"No one cares about the south side."
"Have you lived here long?"
"I just moved in with my boyfriend."
"Hey am I doing this right?"
The young girl looked over the bracelet, mumbled some instructions in the woman’s direction, and turned to go back inside the house.
I said good bye and turned to leave, but didn’t get a response. The woman leaned back in her chair, intent on finishing her bracelet.