The phrase trying to be a light came to me. I repeated it like a mantra (in my head) as I tried to hold on to my grip. I was sad that my plans hadn’t worked out and I was really anxious about the message I had just gotten from Heather.
An older woman and her daughter (still older than me) walked up and asked about my painting and about art school. “No, I’m not an art student.” I told her I was fresh out of a seven month stint in rehab and that that’s where I had picked up art. We talked for a few minutes and then she asked if she could pray for me.
And I said yes.
I’m tempted to defend myself. “Why wouldn’t I say yes? What do I care if she prays for me? It can’t hurt me.” But – in that moment – I think I was actually wrecked enough that my actual rationale was closer to: “Shit. Yes. Please.” (That episode where Homer’s in trouble and he screams something like, “Help me! Jesus! Allah! Buddah! I love you all!” – that’s kind of the state I was in). In either case, I’m positive that my outward response was simply a shrug and a nonchalant (possibly dismissive) “sure.”
But what I didn’t realize was that she didn’t mean later, at home. She wanted to pray for me right there and then. Aloud. With me, at the table, outside of this grocery store, as people milled in and out around us.
I was uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. But I didn’t want to be. So I fought the impulse to stop her and just let it happen. She might have even tried to take my hand and I might have even let her. (I think I did). And then she went inside to buy groceries.
When she came out, she said bye and wished me luck. Just as I was finishing this. So I gave it to her. I don’t know why.
(I know why. Or… I have theories as to why. Good and bad. I don’t really like either. So I’ll just leave it there).