Not the time to gather thoughts.
I think she’s an addict. She’s always wanderin’ my street. Hittin’ folks up for money.
I made one mistake. I gave her a dollar.
At least I thought it was a dollar when she took it from my hand.
Later, counting what was left in my wallet, turns out it was a twenty.
I made two mistakes.
Explains why she knocked on my door this afternoon.
I said, “My fault for givin’ you cash in the first place.”
She said, “Why?”
“Coz, whenever I see you, you’re always desperate, in rough shape, walkin’ in place, wanderin’ waterlogged in a thunderstorm…”
“Life is hard. It’s not drugs. High metabolism. I need food.”
She showed me her track free arms.
I wasn’t impressed. I said, “Most folks on the pipe these days ”
She said, “I’m no crack whore. And, what do you mean, ‘rough shape?’ My oldest son is 24 and I’m 44. Do I look it?”
“I thought you were younger,” I admitted. “Where do you work?”
“Incredible Edibles. Started two weeks ago. It’s over by…”
“I know where it is. When’s your next day workin’?”
“Tomorrow. At nine in the morning.”
I gave her three dollars and said, “I’m only doin’ this coz you’re not in as rough shape as I thought. Not yet, anyway.
I’m not sayin’ I believe you. I’m sayin’ I might be wrong and three dollars is seventeen less than twenty.
I hope you’re just hungry coz, not since Olive Oil, have I seen a person wearing your kind of skinny. It’s not good. Not healthy.”
She said, “Thanks. I’ll pay you back ”
“Not necessary. Just be on the job when I show up in the tomorrow.”
“Oh, I’ll be there.”