March 13th, 2019

I took her to an interview yesterday. She needed to talk to somebody from a state agency about help finding a job. The girl looked rough. The area around her right eye was very red and very swollen.

I asked her about it.

“So, your were using a facial mask and this happened? Was it an allergic reaction?”

She replied, “The people at the ER said that it’s a chemical burn, and there is possibly an allergic reaction too. They told me to use Neosporin and ice.”

“What exactly does Neosporin do?”

“It’s antibiotic. It prevents infection.”

“That sounds like a good idea.”

“Yeah, but it makes the skin look like it’s wet and oozing.”

“That’s not so good.”

Then she said, “The people at the meeting will think that I have an abusive boyfriend.

I paused and told her, “That would not be an unreasonable conclusion.”

She laughed, “I’ll explain to them that my face doesn’t usually look like this.”

She went on, “I just hope there isn’t any scarring. There is stuff I can use if there is scarring.”

I thought for a moment, then I said, “You know, without the swelling that would look like a really cool tattoo.”

She laughed. “That’s great. That’s what I need: a felony rap and a facial tattoo. That will get me a job.”

I smiled. “Yeah, I guess not.”

She went to her meeting. I hung around at a McDonald’s. After that, we drove to Walmart, so she could buy some ice. She came out of the store with several bags. Apparently, she needed other things too. She handed me one of the bags.

“Take this home with you”.

There were three small bags of frozen vegetables in the sack.

She told me, ” I bought these before I found the ice machine. I have ice in this other bag. I don’t need the veggies.”


I took her back to her motel room.

This morning I texted her, “Do you need more ice?”

Response: “I probably will later.”

I told her that I would bring some to her.

I bought the ice, and drove to her motel. She came to the door. Her right eye was nearly swollen shut. The skin around it was dyed in colors not usually found in nature.

I thought she might want get out of her room for a while. I asked her, “Do you want to get something to eat?”

Her hands shook as she took the bag of ice from me. “No, I’m really tired. I just want to lie down.”


I said goodbye to her. She closed the door to her room. I got into my car.

My hands shook.









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