There’s a certain look she used to see in the old woman’s eyes.
Some thought she was “a little off.” She was in a world of her own,
seemingly enlightened, yet still broken in pieces
that were visible in the way her smile would turn, the way
she would get into her mode, fall back into her high school counseling
and teaching days, and lecture—tell you how it was, tell you how messed up the world
is. She did help a lot of people in her day, but how did she still
fall back into the hat of vengeance, holding tight
the resentment of having to conform? Of working against a broken system?
She was great, though, kind when her intensity hadn’t gobbled
her up—she held a lot of knowledge, but in some ways it
seemed wasted, because as much as she loved people, needed them,
she pushed them with her ranting tangents and
pontificating moments. Her energy—jaundiced at times and if you
were in her presence too long, you began finding yourself exhausted,
drained, tired of her incessant complaining, offering no solutions.
It was apparent she exhausted her own self by how her eyes became
vacant, her mood low, slumped back in her chair.
But this girl also remembers another look
the old woman would get in her eyes, brought upon by some force of nature, a
glimmer of light reflecting from a leaf, a small insect hovering in
the air. And the old woman’s body would perk up, held up by
the chair’s arms. She would look out, transfixed, her mouth slightly agape,
with a look in her eyes that she was far away. She would come back from
her mini-escape and tell us all about it. At these moments, she softened,