We’ve never met. I get his mail on occasion though.
I moved into the house last June. He rented it for the previous couple of years. The house was cleaned out, but the few items that lingered in the garage led me to believe we might have a lot in common. One Carlisle oar, leaning against the wall. A Yeti bottle opener on the floor that looked to have been unscrewed from the wall with the intent of packing it later. Behind the work bench, covered in sawdust, was a sticker supporting salmon conservation in Idaho. Boats, beer, and wild salmon, you would think it was the perfect house warming gift from a close friend.
We also have the same first name, although I go by Steven while he’s a Steve. He had kids and a trampoline. So do I. The neighbors flock to our yard and often remark that they are glad another “Steve” with a trampoline moved in. This fall my son was showing a neighbor some antlers I’d hung in the garage. The neighbor boy noted that Steve had antlers too, although not as many. Apparently he had a bunch of ducks on the wall, while I have none. I have shotguns and duck dogs, maybe I’ll have to consider taking a duck to the taxidermist.
The neighbors informed me that Steve shot his bow in the yard and on occasion others in the neighborhood joined him. I would like to do the same this fall. It sounds like we might have been friends. If nothing else the similarities are a little eerie. I don’t know where Steve is now, but I hope he’s shooting his bow, rowing his boat, and doing well wherever he is. As for me, whenever I open a beer using the bottle opener he left behind, now fastened above the garbage can in the garage that he also left behind, I think of him briefly.