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Comfortable Madness First PDF 4-13-18

Poverty Dinner was one

Poverty Dinner was one egg, a piece of toast made from hard bread. Beans and rice. I wasn’t hungry, but I pretended I was. Gid sat with us at the table. “It’s poisoned,” he said. I salted everything into submission. Tayla watched me, her face sad. “I get paid this week,” Tayla said. I nodded. “I’m doing the best I can,” she said. I pushed the food around, afraid to eat, ashamed of my fear. Gid pushed his foot into my crotch and I twitched. “Are you shy?” he asked, purple laughter in his throat. I shook my head. “This,” he said, “is life.” “No.” Tayla watched me with narrow eyes. “I’m okay,” I said. “Are you?” she asked. “It’s nothing,” I said. Something hard passed through her face. “I’ll never leave you,” Gid said. I swallowed. I tried to look at Tayla. I wanted her to see me get through this. I couldn’t, and she didn’t. “Lovely,” she said. “See,” Gid said. Tayla put her plate in the sink, food and all. Something heavy weighed on her. “I’m sorry,” I said. She nodded and went to the living room and lay on the couch. I followed and stopped.

There were no words. There were no excuses or explanations, only space and loneliness.