I and Rosa are walking back from fast food row. Charlie's wife gave me a bunch of coupons for free double cheeseburgers at Burger King. It is a beautiful day with a brisk breeze. The national weather service has issued a red flag warning because of that wind and the low humidity. Rosa went to great effort to "dress up" today and wasn't wearing that ubiquitous baseball cap she always wears. Her hair is pulled up into a bun with great care almost looking Pentecostal. Lipstick adorns her lips and a make-up base covers the blemishes on her cheeks.
"I can't believe we just walked a mile for a free cheeseburger," Rosa said with a sarcastic air to her voice as she grinned.
"I'm a cheap son of bitch and can't pass up a deal," I reply as I smile.
"How did the doctor visit go?"
"I'm blasé about the whole affair. I no longer care. I just want a quiet and serene life with little drama. They can do what they want."
We pass in front of that grand old abandoned cotton mill. In the huge parking lot across from it next to that little park I like to inhabit on my nightly walks, a traveling fair has set up camp. A big Ferris wheel towers into the sky and the smell of roasting peanuts and cotton candy wafts near us upon the air. It brings back fond memories of my childhood and the yearly fair that would pass through town. It was good to know that kids of this modern age are getting to enjoy such things as well.
"Do you ever have days that you want to use so bad you can't stand it?" I ask Rosa speaking of our addictions.
"Oh, God," Rosa says. "I hate those days. I usually call you when that happens."
"There is a new injection out for alcoholics that you get once a month," I say. "It is supposed to stop the cravings and the 'high' you get from alcohol."
"Are you going to take it?" Rosa asks.
"I asked my doctor today about it and he wouldn't prescribe it. He says he needs to read more about it. It is too new."
I and Rosa then head on over to the dollar store so she can buy a backpack. Her old one has grown threadbare. I stand aimlessly as Rosa shops and picks out the perfect pack. It reminds me of all the times my ex-wife would drag me along on her shopping trips and I would do this very same thing.
"Call me tonight," Rosa says as we walk out of the store.
"I'll call after supper," I say.
We part ways and I walk on home. As I walk, I think of me and Rosa's friendship. Never before have I felt so comfortable with someone. It is a wonder to me – a man who suffers from extreme social anxiety. She almost has a magical way about her. I now firmly believe some higher power or being put her in my life for a reason. I am the arch and she is my keystone.