December 17th, 2016
Once upon a time, an unsettled version of me sat on a park bench. Between sobs, I tried, without success, to explain to my kind friend who sat next to me the state of my heart. We couldn't arrive at an answer or any peace, so she simply let me cry.
The way I remember it, a middle-aged lady strolling with a much older woman approached us. The middle-aged lady's face looked both eager and pained, in that particular way that people have when they are about to ask for directions. I selfishly willed her to GO AWAY. I remember thinking from her perspective, sarcastically, like: “You know who looks like they might know the way? The inconsolable woman on that bench there. Yes, she's clearly not in the middle of anything intense. We should definitely ask her!”
Despite every fibre in my being willing the two of them to let me be dramatic and think the world was ending IN PEACE, they came right up to us. The middle-aged woman spoke with a thick Spanish accent, but her English was good.
She did not ask me for the way to anywhere.
What she said instead was this: