As I said in my earlier post, the laundromat was empty. I had clothes in the dryer by the time another patron came in.
She was stunning.
She seemed lost.
She approached the detergent dispensary by my table and asked, “This doesn’t take change?”
“No”, I told her “You have to use your card.”
And she got the detergent and then took her meager load of laundry to a machine. I didn’t think much of it after that – I was writing my post.
She came back.
Hair in a disheveled pony tail – no make up, still drop dead gorgeous.
“If someone went between your legs and took everything, and they’re not your boyfriend, is that wrong?”
I glanced up, was momentarily confused and shocked at such an out of nowhere comment and then, “Um, yeah, that’s wrong.”
Not even sure what she was talking about. But it sounded wrong. And the childlike, confused look on HER face, immediately engaged me.
This woman obviously needed to chat. This woman was also either on something, or had a mental issue. This woman was so beautiful and SO lost.
“What if someone makes you sell everything? What if someone puts cameras in your car?”
“Um, yeah – that doesn’t sound good either.”
“Yes! OK, that’s wrong.”
(How does she not know this?)
Other comments she made:
“People tell me I’m beautiful, but I’ve been hit so many times, it’s amazing I can even smile anymore.”
“This is a small town right? A lot of gossip?”
“I’m so broke.”
“I think I’m going to go into prostitution, this (as she directed attention to her face and body) is all I have.”
“I spent $5,000 on a broken tooth, that’s wrong, right?”
“I have no one to hold me at night – I need someone to take care of me.”
“I have panic attacks, you know, in that show, Modern Family, there’s this guy who freaks out over birds, that’s me!”
“You know, at our age (after she confirmed she was Sophia Vegara’s age – who is in her latter 30’s, so you know I appreciated being included in ‘that age’ when I wasn’t lol) our menstrual cycles change!”
By this time, I’d already invited her to my table.
“You ARE beautiful.”
“No, don’t do that.”
“You need to work on yourself, stay away from toxic people.”
“You get to decide who you want to be, let the right ones in.”
“Yeah! Yeah!” She said. “That’s what a police officer said to me.
“Do you think people with money want to hurt you? I don’t want a mansion.”
“Nah, I said, you don’t. Too much to clean.”
That got a laugh.
After dozens of disconnected questions and back and forth, I was now folding.
“Come here.” I said.
And held her. Her small arms wrapped around me and we were alone in that laundromat and something strange and purposeful was happening.
“I’m here every Sunday.” I said.
I wanted to give her my card – but there was a part of me that didn’t feel like I had the right advice for her.
Who am I?
Who am I to give advice?
But I think I was in the right place at the right time.
“My name is Jenna … and you are?”
“Amanda …. thank you.”
And at that moment, I knew she would be in my head.
She’s staying at a hotel. She doesn’t have a job. She used to model.
“Jenna, sometimes the rich are more miserable than you can imagine – those that have ‘enough’ usually don’t have ulterior motives, they are giving what they can from their heart. ”
“I have no one to hold me at night. I have no one to take care of me.”
“You have to take care of yourself. Learn to be alone. Learn to love yourSELF. Then you’ll attract the right people.”
Her childlike responses – her manic bouncing just endeared her to me.
Then I remembered, I wouldn’t be at the laundromat next Sunday.
And all I can think about right now is Jenna.
And how I should have given her my card.
She needs a friend. A healthy friend.
I wonder right now, what is she doing?
I almost want to show up next Sunday, no matter what. Get out of SELF and be a friend to someone who needs one.
I will try.
Because I think I need her as much as she needs a friend.