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The Broken Girl

June 19, 2010

Yesterday I was in a resale shop, where I often find books and art supplies at a great price.  I was pleased to find a wooden CD tower that would hold the small objects used in my sand tray.  It wasn’t particularly heavy, but it was tall and awkward and I only managed with some difficulty to scoot it to the checkout counter.  While waiting in line, a young woman came up and asked the cashier if she could help.  The proceeds from this particular resale shop benefit the community and much of the help comes from young adults doing community service time for minor infractions.  Based on her appearance, I guessed that this young woman must be one of “those” types of helpers.  The entire line seemed to move back a few inches with her approach, as though we collectively took a deep breath in and held it. 

She was truly beautiful—tall, slender and finely boned with light green eyes and dark wavy hair.  Her skin was flawless in the way that only young skin can be, and she looked as though she may have been of Hispanic or Asian heritage.  She was dressed in low-slung jeans with heavy work boots and several chains worked through her belt loops.  She wore a small, tightly fitting black tank top, revealing her belly button at the bottom and her collar bones at the top.  She had piercings in both ears, one nostril, and her belly button, as well as an abundance of black leather and silver chain jewelry.  Most startling were the tattoos—at least four of them were visible.  Her right upper arm said “Ambivalent” and her left arm supported a gothic cross.  Her left wrist was tattooed with barbed wire.  Etched across her chest, below her collar bones, was the word “Broken.”  Of course the therapist in me wondered what her story was.

As I paid and asked for help out, she volunteered to put the CD tower into my car for me.  She very carefully carried the tower to my car and together we gently and patiently loaded it in diagonally.  She took great care to pad the places where the wood touched the leather seats.  I thanked her for her time and care, telling her that my husband would be pleased that we had been so careful with the leather.  Laughingly, I said, “If I mess up those seats, he’d be upset, and he’d probably come looking for you, too.”  Shyly, she replied, “It wouldn’t be the first time a husband has come looking for me.”   I smiled, telling her that I could well imagine that was true.  We stood there grinning at each other for a moment, our differences in age and circumstance forgotten, just two women sharing a woman’s joke.


2 Comments

  1. Beth Woodall July 22nd, 2010 10:48 UTC

    Of all the tattoo choices out there, she chose “Ambivalent” and “Broken.” You must have wanted to sign her up…

  2. Patience June 30th, 2011 20:04 UTC

    What a neat article. I had no inlnkig.


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