I’m at that park by the abandoned cotton mill. Maggie is tethered to her leash and is busily grooming herself at my feet. Rosa is sitting next to me nonchalantly filing her fingernails. The sound is grating and getting on my nerves.
“Will you quit that?” I ask tersely as I laugh, my skin crawling.
Rosa smiles and puts the file back into her backpack.
“Sorry, honey,” She says. “That was almost a marriage moment.”
Rosa pulls out another letter from her daughter and begins to read it to me. It had arrived earlier in the day.
“Dear mom,” Rosa reads. “You would be glad to know your granddaughter looks just like you. She is going on 2 years old and is into everything. I have a hard time keeping up with her.”
Rosa pauses to look across the street as an ambulance and police car come whizzing by with their sirens wailing. I turn to look as well.
“I didn’t even know I was a grandmother,” Rosa tells me wistfully putting the letter in her lap. “We are supposed to meet next month and I am so fucking nervous.”
“God, I would be nervous as well,” I say as I comfortingly pat her on the leg.
“Will you go with me?”
“I don’t think my social anxieties can take meeting strangers,” I reply.
“But it’s my daughter and granddaughter.”
“I will think about it,” I say. “Maybe, by next month, I will have built up enough courage.”
“You know you are my only real friend,” Rosa then tells me. “I used to think I had a lot of friends when I was using, but they all disappeared when I put down that crack pipe and got clean.”
“The same thing is happening with me and George,” I say. “Now that I am not drinking, we are growing farther apart. I notice he has no qualms about hurting my feelings. He said I was fucking you this morning and made fun of me about it.”
Rosa looks at me, grins mischievously and says, “I only wish.”
“You know how sex complicates things,” I reply. “I and you almost lost our friendship when we slept together.”
“Yeah, I was pretty pissed when you dissed me after that. You were treating me differently after that afternoon. I couldn’t take it.”
“It was just weird,” I reply. “I didn’t know how to act or what to do.”
“Well, I am just glad we are cool now,” Rosa says.
“Me too,” I reply as I put my arm around her shoulder. “Me and you, friends forever.”
Maggie looks up at the both of us sitting there as she pauses from scratching. We almost look like a family I decide. A definitely odd ball family with a 46 year old ex-prostitute and ex-crack head, a formerly homeless man who was the drunks of all drunks, and a little mutt of a dog with a terrible under bite and wild wire hair. It made me smile thinking about it.