A nice carPosted: October 13, 2013
“That’s a nice car.”
A grin. “Why thank you.”
“Is that a new paint job?” The elderly woman is standing by the passenger side of a pick-up, her weight resting on the inside of the open door. She’s looking at the sports car parked next to the pick-up.
“No, it came like that. I got it in ’09.”
She misheard. “What year is it?”
“Two thousand and nine.”
“It looks better than the ones we had back in my day. It’s so new.”
“I don’t know, you can’t really beat the old ones. I’ve got nothing on the classics.”
“I went to the doctor today. I had surgery three months ago, they removed several tumors from my left knee. They said it was fixed.”
My eyes dart to her left knee.
She continued, “Today they told me that they’re back.”
I look back at her face. Her eyes are looking somewhere far. “I’m so sorry to hear that.”
“I’m going to have to get surgery again.” Tears well up in her eyes. “It’s going to be very difficult for me. I don’t know what to do.”
“God bless you ma’am, I’ll pray for you.”
I’m an atheist.
“My husband and I live up in the mountains. It’s about a 40 minute drive to get down here, after all the flooding. So many roads are taken out. And so many people lost their homes, lost everything. They’re all suffering.”
I don’t know what to say.
“I don’t know what this world is coming too. Maybe it’s not worth sticking around anyway.”
“I’ll pray for you, don’t give up.”
“I better let you get going. Thank you for talking to me. And you have such a nice car.”
“Thank you. Have a good night.”
I slip into the driver’s seat of my car.
“Good night,” she says. She sounds lost. She lifts herself into the passenger seat of the pick-up.
“Never give up hope,” I half say, half mumble before closing the door.
I drive off.
A few minutes ago I was doing laundry, thinking of my plans for me. The woman walked by me in the laundromat, I asked her to excuse me, I was polite. She was walking with a cane, relieving the weight on her left leg.
A song is playing in the car. It’s mellow and longing.
…like whispering you know me, you know me.
I cry. I sob. I break down.