Lacy weeps outside of the clinic in an overcast December afternoon. She is sitting with her arms wrapped around her knees facing the ground with her dark sweater’s hood over her head. It has been closed for two hours. No one hears her cries. No one, at least, that hasn’t been desensitized to the quotidian ordinariness of what she cries about.
Two men sit around the corner. One does a crossword puzzle, the other looks at the empty parking lot. The first man, Sam, is from the upper mid-west. Three weeks ago he was injured by a trash-collecting truck that emptied a dumpster that contained him sleeping inside. He doesn’t prefer dumpsters, nor is he undignified; it was a cold night. He was on a cane until this last week because of the accident. Marshall is the other man. He is what the people around him may call a sex offender. If his background was brought up he would tell you he never touched the girl and that the cops couldn’t get him on drug charges so they used the girl. He used to own a construction company. Marshall went to the hospital last week. The experts there told him he was not fit to work another day in his life.
Lacy doesn’t cry because she needs in the clinic. She cries because of where she is, homeless for three days in an unknown city. But that is not the only reason she cries. The shelter she stays at is three blocks to the east and one block to the north. Lacy knows the direction and will have no problem finding it when it opens in the evening. A man approaches her and asks if she is okay. She says she is okay, just sad. She is new here and people who she was recommended to see because of their expertise tell her that her mind is not stable. She tells this to the man. She is stable, she says to the man. The reason she seems unstable to the experts is because of her insecure situation.
Later in the afternoon Lacy sits under an overhang with Ryan. Ryan laughs at things he shouldn’t and he misses his daughter. He wants to get a job so he can get a lawyer so he can try to get custody so he can see his daughter. Ryan gets unemployment. He also walks into town everyday to get a job so he can see his girl. Hearing Ryan talk helps Lacy not to cry anymore.