1. Garr sat at a bus stop at Ninth and Figueroa.
2. Using wipes, he scrubbed grimy stink from legs and arms.
3. Close by, business suited men talked unconcerned at his washing.
4. Garr had been dope free for eight excruciating, painful weeks.
5. He needed to test clean to be readmitted to rehab.
6. His head was clear enough to feel his invisibility here.
7. Cleaning himself helped him feel real, to matter to himself.
8. A woman sat next to him, looked into his eyes.
9. She held her gaze and smiled, causing him unexpected shame.
10. She gave him a card that read, “Celeste, Catholic Worker.”
11. Even in his nightly terrors, he dreamed of her smile.
12. Did he matter to her or was he a project?
13. If someone beautiful and good as she could only care.
14. One day he would be powerful like the blinded businessmen.
15. He would enter the Catholic Worker Kitchen as a donor.
16. She would inhale his cologne, and ask, “Have we met?”
17. He would tell her of how she saved his life.
18. He imagined how her face would change with the recognition.
19. What she saw blighted that first day would be cleansed.
20. “Garr, mop down that floor,” the rehab night monitor repeated.
21. Working, he earned points leading to more trust and freedom.
22. Eight months later, he donned a donated suit for interviews.
23. His Stanford MBA opened doors, and he had an address.
24. He wanted to invite her to his rehab graduation party.
25. She wouldn’t understand as they hadn’t talked since that day.
26. He was Jacob forced to work seven years for Rachel.
27. He repeated “One day at a time . . . until we meet.”
28. “I’m here to see Celeste,” he said, envelop in hand.
29. She appeared, holding his note, her smile as he remembered.
30. “Have we met?” she asked in a familiar dreamlike voice.
31. The guard agreed to stay close because of the note.
32. “Looks normal enough, but who knows?” the guard warned her.
33. “Here’s the card you gave me that day,” Garr said.
34. “I’m sorry, but I have no memory of you, period.”
35. Her voice turned edgy, as she leaned away from him.
36. His own voice grew insistent, louder, frantic, his eyes intense.
37. The guard stepped closer, his hand lowered to his holster.
38. “Sounds strange, I know, but I need you to understand.”
39. She stood, no hint of smile, signaling to the guard.
40. “That you, Garr?” a dealer asked as Garr stumbled outside.