For Kimberly

When we first got to New York we were okay for a few weeks, but money that should have arrived didn't and jobs didn't pay what I had thought they would. We found ourselves pretty broke, and we had to sell my Macbook and his guitar, and yet we were still barely able to afford our Metro Cards. Chase was going to school full time and I had taken what turned out to be literally the worst job I've ever had--at a vintage clothing store in Manhattan making $10 an hour. The owners shorted me on every check they ever wrote to me, and were so stingy that they never even paid me for my last week of work--they stopped payment on my check, and from then on I kept that useless check in my wallet as a reminder of how bad off we were those first few scary months.

I thought of you, and of Alexis of course, last summer when this man whom I thought was my beloved was chasing me through half of Williamsburg drunk and high at 5 in the morning, grabbing me and knocking me down. I donned the Myricks' furrowed brow before I punched him in the face and finally got away. I ran four blocks to Broadway, then ran along the elevated track for two more blocks, up the stairs, and finally swiped into the Lorimer stop only to find that although I had my Metro Card, my wallet was missing including my irreplaceable Washington state drivers' license and my social security card.

I wouldn't let Chase come home until much later the next day. When he finally walked through the door apologetic and sweet promising to stop using drugs, I added that he would have to promise that he would never again follow me when I willed him not to, grab me when he knew he never should, and that he could never, ever knock me down ever again. And then I promised him I would leave him if he did. You would think it would have been easier to keep that promise, but even when he stormed into my apartment that he'd already been kicked out of, grabbed me by both arms and slammed me my onto my own kitchen floor, I was screaming "leave me alone" but I was thinking "how am I going to live without you?" And the worst part is, I really didn't know how I would.

Ah, but Kimberly! Who would I be if I rescinded on this? A liar at best, and much like I thought I might end up by the time he got the knife, dead at worst. But I knew I was going to live, I knew I was going to win by the time my hand lifted to the stovetop and wrapped around the handle of the biggest frying pan I own.

How many times have we lost our power Kim? And how many times have we found it again?

Four months after I lost it, the contents of my wallet were returned to me. Minus the cash that had been inside, my ID, social, library and bank card and some other miscellany were mailed to none other than that horrible vintage clothing store I worked at--all because I left that useless check in my wallet for all that time. My former coworker called me to tell me it arrived because I always looked out for him while I worked there.

This morning, just when I was beginning to lose hope again, another coworker from that same store left me this message: "Thanks for being a beam of light! I appreciate your care and friendship."

I have a dress from that same store that I always wear to job interviews, and this will be the one that I wear when I testify against Chase in court, and then the chips will fall wherever they may.

This is about when you should be realizing that this is a diamond in the rough story, a light at the end of the tunnel story, a story about how the best stories happen when you very least expect it.

Go big. Every day.

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