February 13, 2009
She’s an elderly woman who I encounter about once each week, and every time she acts sporadically particular about certain things.
Today I greet her in anticipation of how she’ll act this time. She immediately states through toothless lips, “I’m not doing so good today, but I have a doctor’s appointment on this Monday upcoming. For my psyche.”
“Well,” I offer, “I hope it all works out.”
“My dad died…”
She pauses and grants me silence to ooze out a second of sympathy. “I’m sorry,” I say, feeling like I’ve been encountering sympathy-requiring situations with increasing frequency, learning how to feel comfortable settling around unfortunate life situations.
She cuts me off quick: “…when I was in seventh grade. I’ve been sick ever since.”
She blinks her old eyes and nods her head three jolting times just like she repeatedly does on each occasion I see her, her nervous tick that signals to the world she’s spent a lifetime trapped inside those words.