If you steal a loaf of bread because your children are hungry, are you a thief?
If you let a man give you money after sex so you can pay the rent, are you a whore?
There are only two things that are unforgivable in today's society; being fat or being poor.
There's a thin line between just getting by and living in your car. It doesn't take much to fall off that wire, precariously balancing between safety and disaster.
The wolf is no longer at the door; he's sitting on the couch with a bag of cookies in one paw and the remote in the other, and he's starting to get grumpy because the bag is empty and there's nothing good on tv.
She tried to shake the voices out of her head, tried to find the grace she needed to get out the door and do it all over again. It wasn't coming today. She reached for the phone, deciding to call out sick, when it began to ring. She glanced at the number (thank God for caller ID); it wasn't someone she owed money to. Shocking. It took her a minute to recognize the number; it was his cell.
Why was he calling now? She checked the clock; 7:30 am. He was in Los Angeles, it was night time there. One more ring and the call would go into voice mail, she wouldn't have to deal with his kindness. It rang; impulsively she picked it up, catching it at the last minute.
"Hey, I was afraid you'd all ready left for work."
Silence. Awkward, heavy silence. She felt stupid; part of her wanted to make up an excuse to end the call, another part wanted to kick off her shoes and burrow into the couch for the next hour.
"Are you still there?"
She nodded her head, continuing to feel stupid. He can't see a nod, you idiot.
"I was just getting ready to leave."
Not a very convincing lie. More heavy silence. Should she wait for him to speak? What did he want? They hadn't resolved that question before he left.
She heard him give an exaggerated yawn. She could feel a slight jittery feeling starting to brew in her stomach. Tell him you have to go, hang up.
"I was just getting ready to leave" she repeated.
A small sigh of disappointment became audible from 3000 miles away.
"I just wanted to say hi. We haven't spoken since I left, and I realized I . . ." His voice trailed off into silence.
Say something, the voice in her head screamed! He may not call again. She started to rock back and forth.
"You just left yesterday," she managed to whisper, "You should be asleep, it must still be the middle of the night out there. Or did you just get in from a night of debauchery?"
He laughed. He had a great laugh. She could hear the apprehension melt from his voice, thought about his long,lean body stretching out on the bed. She smiled in spite of herself.
"I'm afraid my days of debauchery are long gone. Especially if I have to do them alone. I want to hit the gym before my meeting started. I thought I'd just call and say good morning."
A sense of relief began to flood her. She sat on the couch and kicked off her shoes, pulling her knees up on the cushion.
"I miss you too."