January 17,


Pumping gas, I could hear her swearing at the red truck she'd pulled up in as it pulled back out without her. I hesitated for a long moment, then asked if she needed some change, and came back a couple minutes later, sure, somehow, that whoever she called hadn't come through, at least not on the first try. That asshole wanted to throw her around, and she didn't need that. She'd given him $10 for gas, and he'd left her there at the station. It was her son's birthday today, but she'd lost them, all six of them. They sent her to rehab after 90 days, but tonight she was drinking again. She was out here trying to find a friend from work, so she could stay with him for a couple of weeks, and start life over again.

I'm sorry, honey, I wanted to say when I dropped her off. I don't think we get to do that. What you get to ask for now is the strength to take a long look around, and then find a way to go on.