Inside the _____ NYC Stories Relationships

Inside the Positivity of Michael Rowe

Written by Adam Bowles

This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what's inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer's storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to him. Thank you to Michael, customer of our CubeSmart store in the Bronx, for sharing his story with us.

Michael Rowe, 40, said he is grateful just to be alive and well.

He works as a security officer on 42nd St., a job he landed about a year ago.

But Michael had been working in construction for three years until someone operating a crane dropped a piece of metal equipment near where he was standing. "I was trying to run because I didn't want to get hit and I just fell," he said.

Michael said he suffered damage to his spinal cord and broke his knee. It took him six months to recover and now he feels 90 percent whole.

"You have to be careful. Anything can happen at any moment or at any time," he said. Life for Michael is about "just being happy. The fact that I'm alive."

He said he enjoys his co-workers, which, along with his two sisters and mother in Virginia, he counts as those who are closest to him. "They are nice," he said. "They are funny. They always give me jokes. They buy food. We all chip in."

One of his co-workers inspires him because she volunteers in the community, particularly with children.

Michael Rowe photo

Photo via John M. White

Michael's mother, Evadney, is a strong influence in his life. "She taught me to stay in school, stay positive, avoid negativity, and hang with the right people."

Michael expected someone describing him would have this to say about him: "Pleasant. Down to earth. And smiles a lot."

He stores some belongings at CubeSmart's store at Zerega Avenue in the Bronx because about four months ago, after a failed relationship with a now ex-girlfriend, he considered moving from Queens to be with his family in Virginia. "I couldn't make my mind up," he said. In the end, he decided to stay.

Michael is a graduate of the former Theodore Roosevelt High School on East Fordham Road. He also said he studied business at Borough of Manhattan Community College. He loves to travel, recalling fond memories of a time he visited Canada. His greatest fear is to become homeless. His greatest dream is to buy his mother a house. There's more:

"I see myself on a beach, relaxed. My own house. Relaxed. Partying. Just having a good time."

About the author

Adam Bowles

Adam Bowles is the owner of Not With Ink, a digital media company in Jewett City, Conn. He spent 15 years as a reporter and editor for The Bulletin in Norwich, Conn., and has freelanced for such publications as The New York Times. His latest project is called The World in One Square Mile, a series of on-the-spot interviews for short profiles that demonstrate the need to take interest in others, listen to their stories and discover what unites us all. He and his wife, Luisa, have two daughters.

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