Mayzey started volunteering twenty hours a week at the community garden. She hoped to build new friendships with other volunteers, and it wasn’t long before she met one of the regulars. Matiz was in his 70s and had been helping with the garden since it was first planted twenty years previously. Matiz was only too happy to show Mayzey where he had planted his first patch of giant zinnias. He told her that the seeds from those first zinnias, over time, were responsible for brightening every corner of the neighborhood where the garden stood.
Matiz was funny and welcoming, but he had a bad habit of making snide comments about others in the garden. Mayzey one time grew impatient and improv-ed an imitation of him to show him how he looked to himself when he was being a snidester. Matiz laughed, made a snide comment about her, and went to stake up some tomatoes.
Soon sundown came and the workday ended. As Mayzey walked toward her car, she saw Matiz walk behind the tool shed to a tiny home. The next morning, Mayzey went over to the tiny home and looked in. It was fully furnished but there was not a mattress in sight.
As if reading her mind, Matiz called out, “It’s upstairs! Want me to give you a tour and show you where I sleep?”
Mayzey’s cheeks turned red. She wasn’t looking for that kind of friendship.
“No thanks, Matiz. I’ll take your word for it that it’s a nice one.”
Matiz laughed and said, “Just let me know if you change your mind. It’s big enough for two.”