Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I was worried a driver would run her over, the way she was leaning into that blind corner, pawing the record-high snow banks, sobbing. The snow flashed and I squinted. I thought, "it must be her dog."

    In my car, she seemed more worried about the mascara and eyeliner running down her face. Cellphone battery located, she had removed the velcro CD case that had perpetually covered the passenger's visor mirror in my dad's vinyl-seated suburban and smartly resituated it so she could use the mirror for damage control. I told her I could drive her where she needed to go.

    It seemed there were a few places she could go, but none of them friendly. She chose the one that was least out of my way. She talked about her second child's father not picking her up. He could have partly worked off the $6,000 he owed her. I wondered what sort of work she did.

    On the drive, my mood was flat. I told her, "I feel like I have so much to offer, so much passion an energy, but that I am I not given the chance." She burst into tears all over again. "I know exactly what you mean."

    I dropped her off in the crowded parking lot of a cheap hotel - the sort of place where sad people lived by the week and drank away their apartment deposit money twice a month - and got out of the car to give her a flat-mood hug. The smell of stale cigarettes and dried up perfume. She told me she might not have money or a car (that is, until it got fixed), but to call her if I needed something - even if I just needed to talk. I took down her number and made a show of saving it in my phone, knowing I would never call. She was a woman of her word. Danielle.

    I had hitched a ride myself that day; I was driving the suburban because I had been locked out of my car. That night, I bummed my second ride of the day from my sister to retrieve my own car.

    As we neared the turnoff in the dark, a white dog was sprinting up and down the unlit roadway, alternating between the median and the greatly diminished shoulders of the road, visible only when its breath was illuminated in the highbeams of passing cars.

    We had to turn around. We had to stop. But the dog wouldn't stop. Finally, with hazard lights on, and other cars waiting tensely, paused only for my sister's (human) body standing in the middle of the roadway, my sister charmed him into her car.

    It's easy to see the strays when you decide to notice them, but once you examine them closely, it is hard to forget them, whether you can help or not. Rio was home by noon the next morning. But Roz would've given him a home had he needed one (housebroken or not).

    Grammar cannot properly capture my final thought. It is somewhere in between the following:

    I wonder if Danielle has found a home. I wonder when Danielle will find her home.
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.