TO THE MALL
air is crisp this spring at the mall. The stores are not
open yet. The French bakery is the only place doing business
this early. With café au lait and baguette I sit
outdoors in the early morning sun.
waiting to see a friend of many years. This is her favorite
mall and she visits it almost daily. Shes schizophrenic.
Her illness makes her refuse all medical help and intervention
is against the law in California, so she remains untreated.
I wait several hours. Just when I am about to give up, she
suddenly appears. I notice dark circles under her eyes and
her blouse and pants are dirty, but neat. The people around
us stare. She recognizes me. She stops a few yards from
my table. Hello, Are you visiting? she asks.
Yes, I came to see you. Can I buy you a cup of coffee?
Sure, she smiles. Ill be right back.
She walks on and is swallowed up by the crowd of shoppers.
over my shoulder
my seat already taken
by another woman