Having

I had them for just a little bit.

Before they slipped through my fingers, turned around, and looked with sneering faces, I had them for just a little bit. Perhaps that is where I went wrong — to have anything assumes a justification for possession. Some reason or merit that would confer on me the property of “able to have.” It is quite the mysterious property, that one. Some — the “haves,” I suppose — have it in abundance. Others do not.

I ought not complain. I am not starving. I am dying, but so is everyone, and the pace of my decline is not too much faster than average. I have heat and clothes and shelter and food in my refrigerator and canned goods spilling out of beat up fabric bins. The lights are on, and my writing always has too many “I”s in it.

I. Aye. Hi.

Hello.

Perhaps that was where I went wrong — the friendliness. If you never say hello, your probability of being hurt is substantially lessened. I ought to know, for there are dozens of people everyday to whom I do not say hello.

Can someone have heat and clothes and shelter, a warm bed, soft pillows, and still lack security? Can she lie awake at night and shake from remembering that it hasn’t been particularly spectacular so far, and isn’t likely to get better? Is there any warrant for that?

People cannot be had, but they can choose to be given. Or not given. Or given and then taken away again, as the case may be.

 

Richmond, VA