Honor to a duo.
There was air pollution. And it was vile. About two months ago and three years ago. As for the latter, it was almost every weekend in much of the summer, usually after dark. In the area of Knickerbocker and Dover Center roads and going far to the east. At least.
I, Joe Scribe, spoke to a lady who maybe knew of it. She said "Use the air conditioning."
OK, did. It helped. Solved the temp evil locally in my pad. But what if many a dweller for acres and blocks around had to go out in it – to a meeting or market? Gad. Had to step outside briefly once or twice myself. Don't remind me.
After a few weekends, if memory serves, went to a man who might help. Don't know much about him; maybe he had some realty connection. Anyhow, he is A and Joe is B.
A – (Guardedly, sans eye contact as he computered) What do you think is the source of this pollution?
B – (Something such as) I don't have metaphysical certainty. Maybe. Wonder if you do, sir.
Well, then the rotten stuff ceased in very few days. Neither he nor his associates ever acknowledged Joe to his face, if at all – much less thanked him.
The trouble seldom occurred since, for more than a few minutes. Until recently.
Again respectfully, Joe spoke, quickly this time. To the successor of the years-ago man. We quite accidentally crossed paths; he was in a hurry. He, somewhat courteously, wanted witnesses. Joe got two, and their warm OK to cite their names, a day or two later. Had crossed paths with them; didn't canvass, doesn't plan to.
There are dozens more still alive and they won't all perjure, if it comes to that. But it needn't.
Some who sniffed that air years ago have died. Alas. But Joe doesn't advocate exhumations – or mass testing of the living, the survivors.
When told more witnesses hovered, the man said, "I believe you," as he strode away quickly. Most acknowledgment Joe ever got in this mess.
The essence: No more gadfly – even a cordial one.
Joe wants out of, um, this particular public service. He has been unduly treated. The gut reaction is to shake the dust from his sandals.
Y'all out there, good readers: Kindly step up. When you breathe that air stuff, pounce. Pronto. But don't rat out. Work behind the scenes; others did. One more sniff can be deadly, but:
We all have obligations in charity as well as justice. And credit to two who may have saved lungs and lives.
Moreover, no one is righteous enough to cast the first stone. Joe just told you as he saw it was and is. The surface. He realizes he can't read hearts & minds of all the apparent negative-doers. Some things may even be accidents. That goes for polluters and those who seemed to very carefully suppress news of somebody's contribution while they knew he needed a paycheck.
They and whoever-all else may have become saints in God's eyes, for all we know.
Another little thing. Joe told a civic-officeholder or two the bare bones of the story. It was toward getting a job, and indicating he might have the honor to try to do it well. Enclosed a resume. Was quite content to be a part-time minion.
Showed the rez to a buddy, who wrote: "Joe, pal, re the rez you kindly sent: I fear it over-qualifies you for some jobs, and under- for others, of course. (We all are vulnerable on the latter.) I think they didn't reply because they saw your life-experience as a threat. Many hunker down in this rotten economy.
"Did you know the fear in one of my interviewers' eyes was palpable? And that younger and richer men than us, who, also, have been unduly laid off, get very few answers to their rezzes?
"You and I don't want the job of anyone who wants to keep that possession. Why should we violate #s 7 & 10 of the Decalogue!?
"And I remember you fell on the uneven sidewalk of that civic person or entity, got hurt, but didn't sue. Good show. And, in return, they did what you told me.
"Saw you straggle in to St. Raphael mass that Sunday of your fall. And saw the two women kindly blot blood and patch you up quickly. (Like to think any church of any denomination for miles around would have so done.) Anyway, I agree that prospective employers and property owners and all should be left to their consciences. We don't know their hearts.
"Urge your hearers to stay vigilant re the pollution..."
And who might Joe Scribe be? Says he's G.A. + another initial for the surname. Because some disclosure seems fit for a writ. And as a part-concession to one of the Five W's of journalism.