A continuation from the last post…
The next morning came, and I dutifully showed up at the coffee shop at 8 am. I don’t drink coffee anymore, only hot tea in the mornings. Over six years ago, I quit drinking coffee cold turkey on Labor Day weekend. Haven’t had a single drop since. I was drinking way too much, and the excess caffeine made me jittery and the acidity was causing some GI distress. So I just quit.
When I meet someone in the mornings, usually for business networking to get acquainted or re-acquainted, I still refer to this as a “cup of coffee” meeting. Sorry I digress. I bought a cup of black tea and waited.
It was pouring down rain outside, a really nasty morning. H____ told me she takes the bus to work, so on this particular morning it would be understandable if she were a little late. I waited, drank my tea and read the newspaper. A full hour I waited, now well informed as to the current events of the day. Somebody committed a murder and is going on trial. The economy in Greece is falling apart. Republicans aren’t willing to tax themselves at the level needed to maintain greatness in America. When Eisenhower was President, the top margin tax rate for individuals was 91%. We built the interstate highway system, the aviation infrastructure, a permanent military, and maintained our national parks. Duke’s perimeter defense is vulnerable. Some parents are bitching that their kids aren’t being assigned to the right schools. Sudoku is harder than it looks.
At some point I realized H____ wasn’t going to show up, and went back to my home/office. There was a phone message from H_____, explaining that she arranged for a friend to give her a ride so she wouldn’t have to stand outside at the bus stop and get drenched. Her friend was late.
I called her later, and we agreed to meet at 5:00 pm, right after she gets off work, a few days later. But when I got there, a co-worker explained that she didn’t work that day. H_____ was originally on the schedule but needed to swap days for some unknown reason.
In one of our short phone chats, she mentioned that there was an issue – not explained in any detail – involving her children, now 13 and 15 years old. She needed to work with the staff at the halfway house for help in getting into an apartment so the kids could move in with her. An abusive father, perhaps? Who knows. She also mentioned needing time to work with her lawyer on how to get a drivers license again.
My life is so easy. After paying her dues to society with seven years of incarceration, H_____ will continue to pay and pay again while trying to rebuild the basic infrastructure of independent living that folks like me take for granted.
As of this writing, we have not talked again. There is no reason to rush. H_____ has the rest of her life in front of her, and if she walks a straight and narrow line, keeps working, loves her children, keeps smiling, and slowly puts a foundation in place, the time for her entrepreneurial dreams will eventually come.