“She loves him. Maybe, if I help him, she’ll love me too.”

I was visiting a drone company in Santa Monica and had just flown in for a few days. Aleksey rolled up in his tiny blue Geo Prism at LAX. He was a big man, and seemed to have stuffed himself physically into the car, so he was relieved to find out I didn’t have a bag and didn’t have to extricate himself to get out.

“It’s small car,” he explained in a Hollywood style Russian accent, except he wasn’t acting. “Too small for me.”

“Is it yours?”

“No!” He maneuvered past a few loitering cars, then stopped to gracefully give the finger at an SUV that swerved out. “All the crazy people,” he muttered. “This is a bright blue color car. How can they not see us?”

“Whose car is it?” I asked, after we managed to get to the highway without any other incidents.

“I bought it for my son.” He grimaced. “My step-son.”

“Oh, that’s nice of you!”

Aleksey frowned at me. “He is big failure. Thinks he can have everything without doing anything. I paid for his school, his college, and he dropped out. He got into some trouble, I paid for him and helped him. And then I helped him find job. And then they fire him because he was stealing from them.”

“Oh that’s terrible.”

Aleksey went on a huge rant. “He doesn’t know how to work, you know? And then he tells me, “Alex, I want to drive for Lyft or Uber. I say, ‘It is hard work-you sure?’ He tell me, ‘Yes, yes, Alex.’” So I buy him car. I am not a rich man! But he thinks it’s easy! And then I check, and he hasn’t driven this car in a month for work! I decide to use this car. I had to clean it, he is dirty man.”

“Wow…why do you keep helping him out?”

The man had been seething. Suddenly, he softened. “His mother. She had hard time, you know? With him. By herself. I will always help him.”

“But why?”

“Because she loves him. Then maybe, if I help him, she loves me too.”

About the artist:

Building upon a degree in Industrial Design Technology, Brooklyn based artist, Royale Cadar, migrated from Seattle to New York to continue her education at the Fashion Institute of Technology, graduating with a BFA in Fashion Design. With over a decade of experience in the fashion and graphic design industry, Royale’s entrepreneurial side gained ground with the founding of a line of baby shower supplies titled Freshly Pressed. Drawing inspiration from her love of flea marketing, healthy cooking, and DIY projects, Freshly Pressed products produce crisp ideas for the baby shower scene, and can be found on Etsy at http://shopfreshlypressed.etsy.com