Slivering off one moment
while surrounded by
familiar faces in an unfamiliar setting
grey aging scars of survival
of a hard life
misfits in oversized winter coats
many whom I know
their stories I have heard over the years
enjoying a moment of fellowship
and a warm festive meal
accompanied by piano tunes of the season.
I am there to help serve the turkey dinner.
My eyes not resting as I survey a crowd of faces
It's my nature
And I see some who have recognized me
as we distantly acknowledge each other with a smile.
"You look familiar"......she states
quizzical looks focused on me as I sit down at the table
"Are you a doctor? How do I know you?"
Squinting, thinking, peering at one another.
"No, I'm a counsellor. We've met I think.
You look familiar to me too...I'm just wondering......"
Two beings caught in the moment before recognition.....
Then the light bulb goes on.......
her youth behind the grey pallor of rooming house living
her voice, one of assurance
friendly, engaging familiar voice,
familiar sounding even after 15 years.
"Did you take a Life Skills class years ago?
I think you were in my Life Skills class."
Nothing......no stirring of memory.......
not right away.....maybe i'm wrong.
Maybe I've mistaken her for someone else.
It has been a long time and now I'm doubting myself,
my own people memorybank.
But I try again..........
"It would've been about 15 years ago, I think......downtown?
Remember?....it was a month long course...."
Still quizzical looks, but determination settles in.
"Or maybe not...... "It was a long time ago....perhaps I'm mistaken..."
She's trying very hard to place me......
still looking, and checking back in thought time.
Then I say.....
"I'm Dana." (as I silently thank my parents once again for giving me a unique name)
"Are you're D____ aren't you?"
Her survivor guard melts away,
a smile of recognition lights up her face
erases some of the hardship
Her arms come forward with a bursting hug.....
"Where have you been, she asks. I have so much to tell you!"
We will meeting again, just the two of us over coffee in the New Year. I am looking forward to an endless conversation with her, and to find out what happened........... she is the last person I expected to see still living one step away from homelessness. I hope between the two of us, we can rectify this.
This week's prompt at Writer's Island is "moment." And, boy oh boy did I have a lot of ideas for this one...........which I think will filter out of me over the course of the Christmas season. Past moments seem to accumulate at this time of year as we reflect on old ones as well as create new ones. For more interesting moments, check out Writer's Island.