Dangerous Compassions

the moon

We got to the motel room and I put my pink plastic water bottle on the nightstand, but somehow I bumped it, and the lid popped open as if fell. 

Water spilled a lot and kept spilling.  I asked Ming to get me a towel.  He realized the bottle itself had broken, on the bottom.  So that’s sad.  I had that pink water bottle for years.

At the Thai place I admitted Christmastime is hard.  I thought I was working through it differently this year.  I thought my better attitude meant it would be easy.  I miss Dad.  I remember him.

“Do you remember him?” I asked Ming.  He said yes.

My food was very spicy but bland, which I didn’t know was possible.  I sprinkled some salt on it, which helped a little.  It needed lime juice or some complex dark sauce.

The waitress was being weird and dropped stuff.  Several men were there.  “What did you get your wife for Christmas?” she asked someone.

“Whatever she bought herself,” the guy said.  “I don’t even get home till Christmas Eve.”

The men seemed super average and boring. 

I went to the counter to pay and looked through to the kitchen.  All the cooks were serious middle aged Thai women, four of them, in hats or hairnets. 

I wanted to express love to them, to thank them, but they were in another world, in the kitchen.  As if they were ghosts–as if they wouldn’t have been able to hear me.

The manager told me $19.90 and I handed him my credit card.  The waitress was asking the men about their kids.  The men seemed like they hated their lives.  Someone said he had one kid too many.

Outside, the moon was almost full.  The sky seemed so black.  The wisps of clouds and stars looked very good.  I felt like the sky was okay, with the cold wind on my face and hands. 

I wanted to hold onto that moment, paused.  But we got into the minivan.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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