Frequently, Bob railed against people of color and foreigners--“except Germans, Scandinavians, and the Dutch" as he assured me.
Driving one of his beat-up trucks, plastered with peeling old NRA logos and Tr*mp bumper stickers, he met up with his aging biker buddies--men wearing leather jackets or fatigues, still dreaming of Vietnam, who guzzled whiskey and beer, while Bob smoked chains of cigarettes, filling his lungs with forbidden nicotine joy.
Bob saw no need to check in with lung specialists as “doctors don't really know what they are doing, except pushing expensive pharmaceuticals," as he claimed, insisting that he always knew what he was doing.
His small and beautiful, yet badly neglected house from the 1920s, got sold for near nothing, gutted, and rebuilt, and a large Bangladeshi family of hard working taxi drivers from New York City—men in jeans, women wearing traditional clothing, children, grandparents, cousins, and more relatives—bought it for a fairly high price and moved in, telling me that they could never buy such a beautiful home in the Big Apple for that price.
Unfortunately, like Bob, they refuse to wear masks to protect the rest of us from the deadly Covid pandemic. However, unlike Bob, they firmly believe they will survive, including their little children, by praying five times a day. They even showed me their prayer rugs.
Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.
It usually takes time, sometimes centuries, before newcomers and those who settled generations ago realize that we have much more in common as human beings than anything that might—on the surface—separate us.