The car is white. A four door. Nissan maybe. An older model. Dealer tags.
The passenger, in his mid twenties has his arm cocked out the opened window. No air. He’s shirtless and tan, spotted with dark tattoos.
The driver gets out. He comes round to the front of the car. He’s wearing shorts and a white A shirt.
‘You know the man who owns that place,’ he says, pointing to the white house across the field of tobacco.
The house is a rental, owned by the same man, the same family, who owns the old house I’m working on. It had burned a while back. Not badly. Not that you could tell from the outside. An electrical fire in the attic. Still, it wasn’t inhabitable yet, and the owner wasn’t sure he wanted to fool with renting it out any more.
‘Same fella who owns this old place,’ I say.
‘You reckon he’d want to rent it out?’ the driver asks. He's coming my way.
‘Don’t know,’ I tell him.
The passenger’s eyes roll over my tools, the old house. I hate this shit. Not knowing. Having to assume that people are thieves, when I’d prefer to think the best of them.
The driver is standing in front of me. If he isn’t high, he needs a fix. His eyes won’t be still. They quiver.
‘I’ve got five grandbabies,’ he says, ‘that’d just love that big yard.’
‘It burned inside,’ I tell him. 'Needs work.'
'I'm a carpenter', he says. ‘Like you.’
I look over the driver's shoulder at the passenger, smoking now, his skin slick with sweat.
I hate this shit.