The underground building and garage is labyrinthine, sharing arteries, paths, walkways like conjoined twins. Some shortcut paths we (the workers) weren’t allowed to take, those were designated for certain people only (perhaps the kind that wear heels instead black, tarry workboots.) The building is brand new, the cement floors painted clean gray and bright yellow. It is loud and echoey in here. I’m the only woman in here, and the men aren’t nice to work with. At my right shoulder is a man I used to work with. He stuffed five pages of faxed copies of his records in my hand, and he’s appointed me the task to help him with pointing, grunting, and broken English. He is Asian, his name hard to pronounce. (Mister H?) No one wants to help him. He follows me through the long halls that seem to lead nowhere, through bright tunnels where workers are laughing, smoking, fooling around, and definitely not helping. He points to a name and phone number and wants me to call this man (the top man, the boss) and get Mister H help. Most of the dream is me on a cellphone making a series of phone calls until I can get as high as “they” will let me to demand medical care for Mister H who was hurt on the job. He is out of work, no one will help him, it says he’s eligible right here on the forms, YOU signed it, what’s the problem, then?
It’s past sunrise and I awakened to a messy room. I stand up, wobbly, because my right hip grumbles at me when my body is still for too long. I drink a cup of cold water from a Starbucks Seattle mug a friend gave me. I wonder how her night went, knowing, but still hopeful. And then I read the news that comes from Las Vegas.
I can’t believe my eyes, and my heart cycles through broken, angry, sad, who cares, looking for fault, finding a reason, then starts all over again. I light a sage-scented candle, something strong and clean to try and purge the sickness from my two little rooms. I’m too warm but my bare feet are cold, and it’s an October morning for sure. Another day I don’t understand and I know I’m not asking the right questions or speaking the right words. For now. Someone posted a terrible verse from Isaiah on Twitter to the effect that god don’t care for your thoughts and prayers because your hands have blood on them. Well okay, then. While I wash the blood and shit and dirt from my hands, I will look for ways to be a vessel of peace, an instrument of giving, a la St. Francis.
If I close my heart, I’ve already failed.