I feel so peaceful tonight. The itch has receded, even though I haven't acted on it.
I gave forty dollars to a kid I saw in Harlem today. He had an operator symbol on his back. I figured he was a runner, even though he was so young.
I wonder what ever became of the boy, the one from before. I hope he is alright, and I wish he could forgive me
Though he won’t, I know.
Have you ever been in love? Love makes even the worst situation feel so much better.
I realize, I never finished describing the occupants of the bar, did I?
The girl who works there has been there for at least ten years. She came in one night while I was boozing like a man with nothing left. She was beaten bruised and hysterical, though she collected herself enough to ask for a glass of water before she passed out. and doc gave her a job on the spot, she was that bad.
It took years of slowly prying, and a lot of secret drinks, before I could get her to open up.
She had been a young wife. Married her high school sweetheart at the age of 18. By age twenty, his promises had dried up along with his work, leaving them in poverty in an unfamiliar city. He turned to drinking, and the drinking turned to beating, and every day she was beaten within an inch of her life, with no where to go and neighbors who didn't care at all. They saw her.
One day, hubby got further into the drink than ever before, and began to chase her around their apartment with a knife. She screamed, she begged and pleaded, but no one would help, no one cared. He tossed the knife, slicing the side of her face and just began to beat her, punching until bones broke, punching until she was a barely conscious pulp
and then he screamed, and through her blurry eyes, she saw a tendril of black burnt wood, or so she thought, sticking through the bastard.
More and more tendrils began to fill him, and gently, he was carried out into the night.
A lone pale face, or I guess, more properly a lack of one looked into the window, and she never saw her husband again.
Every year, she gets a new teardrop tattoo under her eye. One for every year he's been gone, and one for every year HE's away. He's not bothered her since.
I don't claim to understand.
There's nothing wrong with her. Nothing that a few hundred dollars won't fix.