Sunday, May 22, 2016
She says to me once we finished dinner together in a restaurant:
"I've never eaten at a restaurant with a friend in my whole life. I like this. There's no pressure."
She insists on paying.
As she gets into my car, she says, "I know you're supposed to tip. I didn't know what to tip. Was $50 OK for her? The bill was $36.00."
She says: "I've nowhere to hide my pills. My mother steals every pill from everyone. Even her own mother's and my father's. And I need my liver pills. What do I tell the doctor?" (the truth)
She says: "You're like a therapist. I never knew how to talk to people without yelling or blaming until I met you."
She says:" I'll miss my kids' first haircuts." And starts to cry. I let her.
Her mother calls.
I hear the mother yelling about pills. She doesn't care how her daughter procures them. Get her pills now. She doesn't want me to hear. She's embarrassed.
Then she says: "I hate going home. She'll attack me for pills once I walk through the door. She'll go on and on about how she gave birth to me in pain and I owe her. I never want to speak to my daughter that way. Never."
And she doesn't cry this time but holds herself a little more stiffly in the car.
And I think: We are so privileged. We have absolutely no idea what hell others face on an hourly basis.
I love this wee woman as if she were my own.