My work is stressful

So—I leave for lunch

thinking

I’ll relax

with some calories,

sitting on my growing ass

but

I have not been able to get away from my problems

carried by other people

like fleas, that jump onto me.

I walked into Teriyaki, yesterday

and an Asian woman

looked me in the eyes, with her grey hairs pulled back, tight

and called me, “Asshole.”

I have no idea why.

I placed my order, went to QFC, and picked-up my blueberries

as I got into my car

she screamed, “Asshole!”

I have no idea why.

Today, I went to Subway

and a lady with bruised eyes said, “Hi. I got into a fight with my husband last night—he tried to rape me, and I stabbed him with a knife.”

It sounded too much like one of my stories

“He’s in jail now, and the Sheriff is going to help me to find a new place to live.”

“That’s rough,” I said. “This world is a messed-up place.”

“You got that right. What kind of bread do you want?”

“Italian Herb and Cheese.”

Then she pulled out a knife. As she sliced open the loaf, she said, “The last thing I cut-open was my husband.”

“That’s a great line!” I said. “I’ll use that in a poem.”

She smiled.

It might not have been the right thing to say, but it was the truth. “God can help you,” I suggested.

“I believe in Jesus, but lately, I’m losing my faith,” she said.

“I understand that. This year I spent most of it alone. Then I called out to God, and He was in the room with me. I’ve never felt that way before. Would you like to come to church with me on Sunday?”

“Yes—me and my little girl would.”

So, I wrote down the address. I don’t think of myself as a good Christian.

“Take care of yourself,” I said.

“Thank you, sir.”

And I left.

I keep to myself, most of the time, but God wants me to practice compassion.

I’ve been following Him lately

and

I can’t believe I’m writing this.

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