recovery, in three parts/32

by poems & doodles

I

one day, while cleaning your kitchen, you remember the story your building maintenance guy told you while snaking the drain in your bathtub. the one about his daughter and how she tried to make spaghetti for him for father’s day but touched a hot pot with bare hands. they spent the evening in urgent care; he fed her fruit cups.

then you realize you haven’t seen the building maintenance guy in a while because you haven’t called him in a while because you don’t need your bathtub snaked now that your hair’s stopped falling out in handfuls, now that you’ve stopped pulling it out in fistfuls.

you think to yourself, i bet she’s healed by now.

II

the waiter stops at your table to fill the solitary water glass. he asks if you need anything.

without thinking of consequences or resigning to think of consequences later, you ask him for another basket of bread, because you want it.

he nods and as he leaves, you dip your finger in the water and run it around the glass’s rim, trying to make it sing.

III

this time, when the blood donation center calls, you don’t cry.

it’s the same volunteer – Miranda – who called last time to ask why you missed your appointment in May. “when regulars miss their sessions,” she said, “i call to check up, to make sure everything’s ok. if something has happened to prevent you from donating in the future,” her voice is sweet and singsongy, “we understand.”

you mumbled through an excuse.

Miranda let you finish. she told you the center appreciates the donations you’ve made thus far, she told you, like they tell you every time, that your generosity saved lives and that she hopes you’ll continue to donate because you are needed.

you didn’t say anything. you sat on the pavement and cried.

but not this time.

this time, when the blood donation center calls, you make an appointment and Miranda tells you she looks forward to seeing you again.

and you say thanks.

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