As their investments mounted, the owner’s interest in restoring the old house quickly declined. “We love what you’ve done to the place so far,” they told him, when the house was dried in, its new roof gleaming in the afternoon sun. “We just think…”
They were kind enough about it, phrased it in such a way that he could almost agree: Spending so much on a place that can’t be lived in or really use for anything at all, didn’t make good sense. It didn’t, either. Acts of love rarely do.
This is how the past is lost, he thought, loading his tools, discouraged, as much because the owners didn’t care as he couldn’t afford to care. He had a money pit of his own. “I’m sorry,” he told the old house before he left, pressing his hand to its cool brick, listening again to the songs of slaves forged into the clay, the echoes of war, the cries of birth and death.
How much they were alike, he thought, two faulty old structures, fascinating in all they had survived, unsound and unable to make their own repairs. Fascinating, but not worth the act of charity that might save them from ruin. Good sense. They would never make good sense.