was how she’d felt, like "The Little Match

Girl" late that afternoon when she’d stopped

in her neighborhood clinic — which she’d

liked going to — another of her homes away

from home — because her doctor, the nurses,

and the receptionists were so nice, kind and

friendly — in fact, she’d been the most

comfortable going to this doctor who she’d

only started going to that winter because

she felt he had the best "bedside manner"

he’d had of any doctor (GP) she’d ever

had in her life — because her apartment hunt

had required her providing all sorts of

documentation like proof of income and

her property tax bill and checking account

statement –she’d at times asked one of the

receptionists to make her copies — so that

afternoon on her way home she’d asked one of

them for copies of her property tax bill and

latest checking account statement –and this

receptionist who’d normally been so kind,

friendly and helpful told her not to ask for

any more copies after that because she’d

been getting a lot of requests for copies

lately — she’d tried to put herself in the

receptionist’s shoes figuring this had been a

busy day for her and she’d thought this

request a pain in the neck after all the

others she’d been making recently for

the bureaucratic sorts who run the

apartment complexes where she’d been

in search of a new home submitting

applications —  aned that the receptionists

had more important things to do with their

time in a busy medical clinic than making

copies for anyone (even if she was one of

their patients) or maybe that printing the

copies was expensive for the clinic — she

remembered from her own working days that

between reams of paper and the printing

itself, copies cost lots orf money — even

the library cost 10 cents apiece for copies

which was why she’d been asking to have

them made at the clinic –she knew in the

rational, adult, logical, left-brained part of

herself that this was probably the

situation — but her sensitive right brain

which could read between the lines and

could detect subtle nuances the left brain

missed sensed that this receptionist was

perhaps at least a trifle annoyed — and

even got the impression that she was being

judged — so she spologized , wished her a

nice day, and left — but walking to the

bus stop she was catapulted back to the

year she turned nine and read "The Little

Match Girl" at her "boyfirend" Alex’s

house — and this story of the poor girl

who was always on the outside looking

in until she froze to death she could see

herself in — so she found it sad but good — 

the way she’d been feeling then — looking

back on that era from her middle age

during which with the help of others she

was trying to make sense of her surreal

life she now recognized it as a time in which

she must have been depressed — as she

was feeling now — but she did look

forward to her support group meeting

even though on the way there she was

on the verge of tears even though she

tried to mentally distract herself by 

worrying about the new storm that

threatens to impact New Orleans she

felt like a Category 5 hurricane was

raging in her head — she wondered what 

she was doing among nice, pleasant,

happy, "normal"- looking people among

whom she probably woudn’t fit in —

but after she got off the bus and joined

the rest of support group members she

felt truly happy at last — because among

these others who also felt themselves

misfits she felt that she easily was fitting

in — her spirits lifted for among these

folks she truly felt at home……… 



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