Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Broken Harbor

A few homeless mentions in Broken Harbor written by Tana French. Broken Harbor was renamed Brianstown which was billed as a new luxury development. Ireland suffered a major recession, much like in the United States. The developers ran out of money, stopped paying the construction crews, who packed up their gear and left. The half built and finished, but unsold homes, of course would draw squatters.

Description of the homes reminded me of when I sold or tried to sell real estate in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. Shoddy workmanship meant a good, stiff wind could blow them down like the big, bad wolf could huff and puff and blow a pig's straw house down. It broke my heart to tell people who wanted to sell their luxury vacation A-frames and other homes that their value was less than they paid for them.

The developments there were not exactly done by fly-by-night companies. Smooth talking salespeople would lure potential buyers with promises of free blankets, dinnerware sets and other stuff. My father often took them up on the free offer, listened to the sales spiel, declined to purchase, took his prize, generally stopping to drop it off where ever we were living at the time. Others got caught up in the dream, buying what they could not really afford, learning when it was too late, they were not going to make big bucks investing in that real estate.

Finding a sleeping bag and other stuff in an partially finished home's second story, someone asked "is there no chance this is just some homeless guy who found himself a nice cozy place to doss down for a while?"

"With binoculars and an expensive sleeping bag, and bugger-all else? Not a chance."

"And he's not homeless." "Or if he is, he's got somewhere he can have a wash, himself, and the sleeping bag. No smell."

About the sea: "It hooks us somewhere deeper than reason or civilization, in the fragments of our cells that rocked in oceans before we had minds, and it pulls till we follow mindlessly as rutting animals."

Interviewing a murder suspect the good cop asks, "Are you homeless, man? Because we can give you a hand there."

To which the suspect replies, "I'm not bloody homeless."

The bad cop tells the suspect: "All we really need in life is to make the people we love happy. We can do without anything else; you can live in a cardboard box under a bridge, as long as your woman's face lights up when you get home to that box in the evening."

That does not imply that either detective was honorable or corrupt; just terminology often used describing police interrogations.

No comments: