Dangerous Compassions

how we make decisions around here

It’s so cold that yesterday morning at the soupline, when they put water on the serving tables to wash them, it froze.

me:  I think we should close the bathroom window and open it in spring.

M:  But won’t it get stinky in there?  I go in there to fart, when I can.

me:  (laughter)  Maybe.  You phrased that sentence so weird.  If it doesn’t work out, we just open it again.

M:  But our hands will get dirty from touching the window.

me:  Well, we can wash them.  For the hundred and first time that day.  (ocd judgement look)

M:  I’m afraid the window will break if we try to move it.

me:  Oh.  Well, things are kind of janky around here.

M:  Yeah, curtains that don’t close…

me  No heat.  Normal people have heat.

M:  Normal people remove the air conditioner at night.  I mean, in the winter.

me:  You can’t see in here, can you?

M:  No, I don’t think so.

me:  In the bathroom, there’s a curtain–well, we pretend it’s a curtain!  It’s really a sheet someone hung over the curtain, and it slips down…

M:  We should go to Walmart and buy some blackout curtains for the bathroom.

me:  Do people really do that?

M:  We have some curtains.  But I think they’re the wrong size.  They’re this canvasy material and have loops on the top.

me:  Where are they?

M:  In there and in there.  Probably someone washed them in the ’80s and they never got put back up.

me:  Could we cut them down to the right size?  Or just use them too big?

M:  They have a whole curtain section at Walmart.  We could just take measurements of the windows and buy curtains.

imagining over and over again the person who hung the sheet over the curtain

because it was too sheer and she didn’t want people to see her naked in the bathroom, 

remembering the lady who promised to sew a curtain for the other bathroom then disappeared, 

where someone used duct tape to repair multiple tears in that curtain and put a sign in the window,

ways to get curtains, do we deserve curtains, can NDE afford curtains,

the least we could do is take down the sheet and wash it, desert dust everywhere

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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