"Maybe We're Crazy Probably" Gnarles Barkley

"They make her heart beat far too fast, all these losses, these holes inside her soul. Lately, every aspect of her life is blowing off like petals in a breeze. She feels as if she's in a constant state of watching them fly away, of holding in her spread arms nothing more than empty stems of missing things." (excerpt from The Pocket Wife)

My novel depicts a woman losing control. Marginalized and invalidated, views of herself and of the world around her begin to blur. Although we're all impacted by the perceptions of others, I think this is especially true for people who don't fit inside the lines.

A cluster of homeless people lives not far from my exit. They sleep under a bridge with their flimsy cardboard shelters and scant belongings – an ancient photograph, a rusty pocket knife, a Bible with ripped pages. They come and go; the faces change from day to day, month to month. For a while there was a woman, pale and thin, with faded hair and vacant eyes. She stood on the corner where the cars stopped at the end of the exit ramp.

On Thanksgiving I brought her two huge plates of food – turkey and mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and beans with almonds, hills of pecan pie and cheesecake. There was nowhere to pull over, really. When the light turned red I got out of my car and ran across the street with my foil-covered heaping plates. I wished her a happy Thanksgiving, and the two of us just stood there for a minute with the plates wobbling in the air between us. We hugged. We both cried. Drivers honked and yelled and gestured at my car, at the green light. After a minute, we turned and walked away, back to our own worlds. But something passed between us, some common human thread that told me she was visible and viable and sane. And so, for that small space of time, she was.  


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