Forbidden Words

I was in a hallway on a second floor of a homeless shelter. A woman was walking past me. I was slightly taller than her, but she was older and haggard from drugs and alcohol. She was tiny, and I instantly felt anger at her for stealing and lying. A few feet after I walked past her, I whispered the word, “cunt” under my breathe. The woman spun around and pointed a frail finger at me. Enraged that I should break the shelter rules and swear. “I heard that,” she said, “and I am going to tell!” 

I shrugged. Then the woman disappeared to reemerge with one of the house managers who was accussing me of hitting this woman over the head with a frying pan! I was shocked, since this was not what had happened. The other house manager emerged and I sat her down at a picnic table and explained how I sworn under my breath and how worried I was about accidentally breaking the rules. She believed me, and laughed at the situation, and my lack of comfort. 




A little girl approached an older gentleman at a pie eating contest. She had long blond hair streaming behind her chunky body. The gentleman nodded at her as she approached. Instantly she started to tell him about her father. She told him about how her father has had false teeth since he was eight years old; the same age as her. She was rambling. The gentleman ran his hands through his silver streaked dark hair and almost shouted in an exasperated tone towards the girl, “Well, you want to eat, don’t you?”