Colleen was a regular at my old job where I sold coffee and "gently used" clothing for transitional housing run by the YWCA. She moved here from California and didn't know many people. She'd had a terrible break-up with a long-time partner, and I don't think she knew a lot of people in the area. She'd tease me about being a breeder, but then she brought me a huge bagful of Disney movies for the baby this time last year, when the baby was only a raspberry wedged into my uterine wall. She teased me sweetly because I declined a joint at a party, promising me her generation had healthy babies and their moms smoked weed.
She had a witty, insanely dry and sarcastic demeanor and was scary smart. I think she was the most unhappy woman I've ever met. She talked about suicide openly with me, and I offered therapists' numbers, cleansing spells, and my home number to call in the wee hours if need be. She took her life this November- I just found out this week. I'm so sad I wasn't able to attend her memorial. So I'm just offerring this up to the universe: She was here, and I witnessed her being, and enjoyed her company, and her leaving hurts me.
Next time you go to your favorite locally-owned cafe, raise a hot Latte with the espresso run through twice like a Euro, with half a shot of vanilla syrup, and toast Colleen.