Originally uploaded by PackRatty McRatterson
This was given to me in 1999 by a co-worker, along with the 6 remaining cigarettes. Since I was underage, it was a pretty big deal. We were both silly, weird, artsy types, we both loved ugly vintage things. Losing touch with her is one of the only reasons I ever regretted quitting that job.
I saw her a couple years ago at Salvation Army. I recognized her immediately, and I practically ran over to say hello. Then, as I approached, I overheard part of her cell phone conversation. She was swearing a lot, complaining about the cops, and how she already had to go to court for a number of charges from what sounded like several separate incidents. As I got closer, she looked more and more tired, and more and more ragged, and it seemed like she just hadn't smiled or laughed in a long while. She smelled like a bar. I snuck away before she had even noticed my approach.
I still don't know if it would have been cruel or kind to say hello. I didn't know if it would have made her happy or sad to see me, to acknowledge the passage of 10 years, and the changes they brought.