I might have even said something like I wish I knew how to help peoplelike that.
The woman takes what she can carry in her arms and heads in theother direction, toward the Sunset Addition, a solidly middle-classneighborhood built in the 1950s. She walks to the end of the street anddrops her things by a stop sign. She returns and wheels her suitcases upthe hill, one in each hand, around the corner. For the first time, I wonderwhere she will go.
When I get home, I phone my father. I tell him I’ve checked all over townand no one will take the trailer. He reminds me about the salvage yard,but I don’t want to remove the holding tank and appliances, and I don’twant my father to either. There may be needles or methamphetamineresidue inside.
“Maybe we can burn it,” he says. “Just on the inside. Then nobody can
stay in there.”
“We’re not burning it,” I say.
I tell my father that Robert suggested hauling it to another county.
“I think we should burn it,” he says again.
I tell him I’ll keep calling around.
I phone the police department to see if they will give me the nameof the person linked to the trailer’s license plate—a long shot, I know. “Ijust want to return it to them,” I explain to the dispatcher, but she tellsme that, no, she can’t give out someone’s personal information.
A few minutes later my phone rings. My father has called an RV deal-
ership to ask what they do with old trailers, and they put him in con-
tact with Doug, a man who used to work for the junkyard, who now
hauls trailers for them. “Call him right now, Sis,” my father says. “He’s
I phone Doug. He’ll take it for four hundred in cash. He tells me he’ll
gut it and haul it to the salvage yard.
“How soon can you be there?” I ask.
“Thirty minutes?”I don’t know what I expected.
The woman’s bed inside the trailer is made up with white sheets andpillowcases and a thick sleeping bag the same forest green as the one Islept in all through my girlhood on camping trips. There is no odor of