Uncle Charles’s Compassion

Tandem-div

From the time she was twelve, Faith would spend most of her summer vacations riding the orange line Metro to Union Station where she would then walk the remaining five blocks to Uncle Charles’s salon. While she had gone under the auspices of gainful employment, Uncle Charles imploring Sam to let him hire his favorite “niece” to assist with the bookkeeping and general cleaning duties, for Faith it had really served as an escape from spending her summer at a home that had become increasingly unbearable…..

On an early morning soon after she started working there, Faith was taking a bag of trash out to the bin located in the alley behind the salon. As she opened the door that led from the office into the alley and stepped beyond the threshold, her foot sunk into what she feared was a mushy pile of dog crap from one of the strays of the neighborhood. What she discovered, however, was a bowl of cat food neatly placed on the left side of the entrance beside a matching bowl of milk. Saying nothing, Faith merely transposed the bowls to the right side of the entrance. The next day, she noted that they had been re-filled and put back in their former position, so she moved them back to the right. Sure enough, the next day, they were re-filled and back on the left. When she finally confronted Uncle Charles about his clandestine feline feeding, he confessed to her that he had been doing this since he first moved into the salon and saw the homeless cats that wandered the alley. In Savannah, cats had a home; someone took care of them. From that day forward, there were two bowls of cat food and two bowls of milk outside the back door. None of the other employees ever knew about the two nuts who fed the neighborhood alley cats.

 

4 comments on “Uncle Charles’s Compassion

  1. One of the most consistent reactions I have gotten regarding Waiting for Today is that everyone’s favorite tangential character is unquestionably Uncle Charles. The above story is emblematic of what I think so many people love about Uncle Charles. While he is mischievous and playful, his heart is so obviously good. He breaks convention but always with genuine concern for others. He is a young soul trapped in an old man’s body who choses to embrace rather than bemoan the stage he has reached at this point in his life. In this passage, he and Faith form a bond by feeding the homeless cats of D.C.

    In so many ways, Faith and Uncle Charles are really kindred spirits. Though they are tied together in the novel in both literal (their mutual passion for the piano) and symbolic terms (their “nourishment” of others- itself a recurring theme in the novel), it is their impish but benevolent sense of humor that I so appreciate in both of them. In my real life, they are what I call “characters”- the type of people I like to spend my days with.

    Uncle Charles is largely based on the godfather of one of my best friends. I met him for only a day, but his larger than life personality, his eternal ebullience, left a dramatic impression on me, and I had the sense, even then, that he would make a wonderful character in a novel. All of the other details of his life I filled in with imagination, but that childish good-nature was always at the character’s core. Some people just have that ability to make the world a better place merely by being themselves, and their indelible mark cannot help but leave us better people.

    Well, I guess I’ve told you about one of the favorite “characters” from my life. I’d love to open this up to all of you and hear about the characters in all of your lives. Write us a paragraph about one of those personalities that filled a room, that left you a better person. Tell us a story or paint us a picture of the first time you met them. Life itself, after all, is little more than a celebration of the characters of our lives.

  2. One of the most consistent reactions I have gotten regarding Waiting for Today is that everyone’s favorite tangential character is unquestionably Uncle Charles. The above story is emblematic of what I think so many people love about Uncle Charles. While he is mischievous and playful, his heart is so obviously good. He breaks convention but always with genuine concern for others. He is a young soul trapped in an old man’s body who choses to embrace rather than bemoan the stage he has reached at this point in his life. In this passage, he and Faith form a bond by feeding the homeless cats of D.C.

    In so many ways, Faith and Uncle Charles are really kindred spirits. Though they are tied together in the novel in both literal (their mutual passion for the piano) and symbolic terms (their “nourishment” of others- itself a recurring theme in the novel), it is their impish but benevolent sense of humor that I so appreciate in both of them. In my real life, they are what I call “characters”- the type of people I like to spend my days with.

    Uncle Charles is largely based on the godfather of one of my best friends. I met him for only a day, but his larger than life personality, his eternal ebullience, left a dramatic impression on me, and I had the sense, even then, that he would make a wonderful character in a novel. All of the other details of his life I filled in with imagination, but that childish good-nature was always at the character’s core. Some people just have that ability to make the world a better place merely by being themselves, and their indelible mark cannot help but leave us better people.

    Well, I guess I’ve told you about one of the favorite “characters” from my life. I’d love to open this up to all of you and hear about the characters in all of your lives. Write us a paragraph about one of those personalities that filled a room, that left you a better person. Tell us a story or paint us a picture of the first time you met them. Life itself, after all, is little more than a celebration of the characters of our lives.

  3. One of the most consistent reactions I have gotten regarding Waiting for Today is that everyone’s favorite tangential character is unquestionably Uncle Charles. The above story is emblematic of what I think so many people love about Uncle Charles. While he is mischievous and playful, his heart is so obviously good. He breaks convention but always with genuine concern for others. He is a young soul trapped in an old man’s body who choses to embrace rather than bemoan the stage he has reached at this point in his life. In this passage, he and Faith form a bond by feeding the homeless cats of D.C.

    In so many ways, Faith and Uncle Charles are really kindred spirits. Though they are tied together in the novel in both literal (their mutual passion for the piano) and symbolic terms (their “nourishment” of others- itself a recurring theme in the novel), it is their impish but benevolent sense of humor that I so appreciate in both of them. In my real life, they are what I call “characters”- the type of people I like to spend my days with.

    Uncle Charles is largely based on the godfather of one of my best friends. I met him for only a day, but his larger than life personality, his eternal ebullience, left a dramatic impression on me, and I had the sense, even then, that he would make a wonderful character in a novel. All of the other details of his life I filled in with imagination, but that childish good-nature was always at the character’s core. Some people just have that ability to make the world a better place merely by being themselves, and their indelible mark cannot help but leave us better people.

    Well, I guess I’ve told you about one of the favorite “characters” from my life. I’d love to open this up to all of you and hear about the characters in all of your lives. Write us a paragraph about one of those personalities that filled a room, that left you a better person. Tell us a story or paint us a picture of the first time you met them. Life itself, after all, is little more than a celebration of the characters of our lives.

  4. One of the most consistent reactions I have gotten regarding Waiting for Today is that everyone’s favorite tangential character is unquestionably Uncle Charles. The above story is emblematic of what I think so many people love about Uncle Charles. While he is mischievous and playful, his heart is so obviously good. He breaks convention but always with genuine concern for others. He is a young soul trapped in an old man’s body who choses to embrace rather than bemoan the stage he has reached at this point in his life. In this passage, he and Faith form a bond by feeding the homeless cats of D.C.

    In so many ways, Faith and Uncle Charles are really kindred spirits. Though they are tied together in the novel in both literal (their mutual passion for the piano) and symbolic terms (their “nourishment” of others- itself a recurring theme in the novel), it is their impish but benevolent sense of humor that I so appreciate in both of them. In my real life, they are what I call “characters”- the type of people I like to spend my days with.

    Uncle Charles is largely based on the godfather of one of my best friends. I met him for only a day, but his larger than life personality, his eternal ebullience, left a dramatic impression on me, and I had the sense, even then, that he would make a wonderful character in a novel. All of the other details of his life I filled in with imagination, but that childish good-nature was always at the character’s core. Some people just have that ability to make the world a better place merely by being themselves, and their indelible mark cannot help but leave us better people.

    Well, I guess I’ve told you about one of the favorite “characters” from my life. I’d love to open this up to all of you and hear about the characters in all of your lives. Write us a paragraph about one of those personalities that filled a room, that left you a better person. Tell us a story or paint us a picture of the first time you met them. Life itself, after all, is little more than a celebration of the characters of our lives.

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