There is this one older woman who has been hanging out down at the shopping center lately. I have written about her before on occasion. She looks like she has lived such a tough life and I have a soft spot for her.
This morning I was walking across the bank parking lot down from the shopping center when Rosa spotted me. She made a beeline straight towards me.
“You got a cigarette?” She asked as she walked up.
“All I have is cigars,” I replied and she gratefully accepted.
I noticed how callous and cracked her hands were when she reached out for the cigar. She told how she hadn’t eaten since yesterday.
“Let’s walk over to the diner and eat a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit,” I said.
We sat down and I ordered two biscuits and two coca-colas. Soon our food was ready and we sat eating. Rosa really started to open up to me once she realized I wanted nothing more than to eat breakfast with her.
“People always want something, ya know?” She said. “Nothings never for free.”
“I know. It is really sad,” I replied.
“You said once you were homeless,” She said.
“Yeah, I lived in a tent in the woods.”
“A regular Daniel Boone, eh?” She said as she laughed.
“Yeah, I guess you could say that.”
“What’s been going on with you if you don’t mind me asking,” I finally asked her.
“Oh just trying to stay clean and sober. I once was bad hooked on meth and crack,” She said. “It about killed me.”
“What made you quit?”
“I didn’t want to die,” She replied looking sullen. “I was going to smoke myself into an early grave.”
“That is a good enough reason to quit,” I said.
We finished our biscuits and drinks then she did something very unexpected as we were walking out of the diner’s parking lot. She hugged me.
“You’re alright,” She said as she smiled and we went our separate ways.
Sometimes, I get to feeling sorry for myself. I am an addicted schizophrenic man who lives on the razor’s edge of sanity some days. I thought of Rosa as I walked home realizing everything was going to be okay. That one hug and the breakfast with her had made my day. We can gain so much strength from others.