Every morning I drive the same route to work, which crosses through one of my favorite neighborhoods in Durango. The houses are old and the sidewalks are cracked by roots of trees who have been around since this town was founded.
Faded Tibetan prayer flags hang from porches, marking the student rentals. Sunflowers poke their heads over the fences of retired hippies. Further south, blocks of established family units mingle together, listening to music, gossiping and watching their kids play. People have already rolled out their bbq grills, eager for the warm afternoons of drinking and sunbathing.
On College Avenue, my friend JL has her Scrapbooking store, which has flourished in its first year of business. Due to its location, people walk to work from this neighborhood, sporting Durango’s standard of “professional” wear: blazers and Birkenstocks.
As I come to a stop at 6th Avenue, two kids cross the street with their dad, headed towards Park Elementary. When I worked for 9-R, this primary school was the most sought after place for kids in Durango. People would use their mom’s, cousin’s, landlord’s, etc.. address to qualify for enrollment. The school, the location & the people are just a few of the reasons this neighborhood’s average home price ranges between $400,000.oo and $600,00.00.
That’s a lot of zeros for a single mom to digest.
I watch the little group pass in front of me. The daughter (8-ish) rides her Razor scooter, flying towards school with a smile on her face. The dad walks behind with his (10-ishson), talking to him and sipping coffee. His face is stubbly, coming to a point in a sandy-haired goatee. His uncombed hair sticks out in wisps under an army green cap. He is the picture of crunchy, outdoorsy, laid-back, Caucasian Colorado, with his snowboarder son in a neon green hoodie.
I feel a little twinge of happiness, looking at them. There are some good men out there, even within the 16,000 people who live in my town. Maybe even one that might be interested in me.