had a master's degree
and could look you in the eye on any topic. She was tiny but she might as well have been taller than me. Still there were these moments.
One day she walked down to the leasing office to get a package. Came back sweaty and shedding pieces of UPS fiberfill all over the carpet. Had a story to tell me - she'd been gone for what, ten minutes, and already had new things to chatter about, more to share.
She told me there were little boys playing in the far end of the parking lot, tiny brown Mexican boys in grubby sneakers. They had a scooter, which they were clearly too little to ride, and they appeared to be fighting over which one of them would not-ride it first. Their older brother (Lean. No shirt. Cinnamon. Looked about 16, could have been thirty. Maybe he was the dad, I don't know, anyway,) bounded over the patio railing and snatched up the scooter and hopped on and invented a game where he chased each little boy in turn. Shrieking, howling, they loved it. Older brother swooped in semicircles, rode in a slow circle around her, tipped his invisible hat, smiled lazily, murmured, 'Sup, Hermana? She laughed. He was very silly.
Her flushed delighted face. She had no idea she might have been in danger. Tank top, rosy, beautiful woman alone. I saw she was barefoot and, I don't know why, but that made my stomach seize. I had a moment of brief guilt about assuming there was danger with Mexicans, but really I would have worried about her walking barefoot through a crowd of crippled saints. Who would not want to take her? Nobody with eyes or ears. Besides, I thought, I will gladly be a racist if it keeps you safe.
One day I found her in the bathroom blinking and squinting at herself. (Amy what are you doing?) She laughed, caught.
This eyeshadow, it has glitter in it, and some specks got caught in my eyelashes, and when I squint I can see rainbows. It's like little prisms, it's like snowflakes.
And all I could think was, any minute now, you will go blind. But she didn't. She only left me.