Alice lives in space number 14 at the Tranquility Trailer Park. A very organized person, she plans her days carefully.
Today is embroidery day, and she’s adding floral designs to linen napkins that would form a set of four. She’s making separate sets with birds and vegetables.
As her hands keep busy with her needlework, her mind roams, and after awhile she finds herself thinking again about the man who drives the garbage truck. He’s slender, in his mid-30s, and displays a calming sense of humor whenever she has occasion to speak with him.
Despite the pressures of his pickup route, he always takes time to wave and smile at the young children in the trailer park, who gather weekly to watch his truck noisily hoist the bins and shake out the contents.
Every spring Alice gets extra pleasure from looking at the honeysuckle near the steps to her front door.
Alice likes to think of the people in her life, even those she doesn’t know well, as her friends. It chases away loneliness and gave her lots to think about.
Her mind dwells often on old Mr. Nassau in space 16. He reads a lot, talks a bit, and enjoys taking his rescue basset, Dolomite, on walks. Mr. Nassau had once been a moderately eminent philosopher and teacher at a small college in Connecticut. At the end of a sabbatical he’d realized he wanted out – of his career, of his marriage, of striving.
A few years later, he wound up at Tranquility and enjoys a minimalist existence in a small unit with few possessions, except for stacks of books and an old laptop. Mostly he just sits around thinking, which suits Dolomite perfectly.
Alice had given Mr. Nassau a gift once, a wooden statuette of five dancing bunnies, each standing on one leg on a flat wooden base. He made it a focal point of his tiny home and told her it exemplifies life’s mysteries as he considers what each of the five is thinking.