She stood under the fall trees at the entrance to the King Kullen Shopping Center in Syosset, New York. She had a baby wrapped in a white hospital blanket in her arms, and a sign at her feet that read “Evicted. Husband out of work.”
I stopped. Just then her young husband joined her, and I asked why they were evicted. They said they’d been unable to pay the rent. I assumed it hadn’t been the first time, and I asked, “If you came up with this month’s rent, would the landlord let you back in?”
“We’re not out yet,” replied the young mother, “and he’s let us stay before.”
The rent was not exorbitant; my bank was just around the corner. I’d taken chances on the basketball court when I was younger, in tough games, and so I took one now, for her and her husband. They left with a fist full of cash, and I never saw them again.