Sitting in the sun reading outside of my apartment, in clear view of the dogs and their window – of course -, two of the maintenance men pass me and raise their hands in greeting. They are the two who usually come to fix whatever happens in my apartment either together or separately. One is “Ohio” and the other is “Muscles” – both men are as different as salt and pepper, yet there is something about them very much alike: They have big hearts.
Ohio moved down to Kentucky last year from Cincinnati and I don’t know where Muscles moved here from. Ohio is very unused to the Kentucky way of life and especially the love of dogs in this complex. Nearly everyone has a dog or a cat here and we care for them intently. He even got a dog for a while, but he decided it was unfair for him to have a dog because he was always busy and the car of the dog went to his wife. I have never met her, but Ohio always speaks proudly of her saying, “I wouldn’t trade her for a million dollars!”
Ohio is older than Muscles by about ten years, but each of them learn from the other. Muscles has children, recently a son was born to him, and the boy is the apple of his eye, along with his little girl. She is definitely a daddy’s girl, and I told him she always would be. I speak from experience. Muscles is soft-spoken. Strong. Muscular. Quiet. He is quick to smile and intent when spoken to because he wants to show respect, especially to a little woman in a wheelchair.
Both men work hard without complaint. I see them moving about the complex in their golf cart at a fast pace, but no matter how many trips they make and how often they pass me and I am outside, they raise their hand and call out a hello. The Husband likes both immensely because he said they are doing their best to support their families and this is true.