by Jessica Waite

I glance down at my scuffed and dirty dog-walking shoes. Maybe being here did require special clothes, a waiting carriage and Coachman, or at least a spritz of something to defeat this body odor, now normal to me. The teller is a well-coiffed woman about my age, who’ll probably call the manager — deny me as suspicious — press the under-counter button to alert security. I notice a budding hangnail on my pointer finger, as I slide the paper across to her waiting manicure, and the woman’s face unlocks when she reads the message in its ink. From pain in her eyes I know, I am Typhoid Mary; spreading misery wherever I go, until her murmured voice brings me back. “Oh, sweetheart…I’m widowed, too.”


Jessica Waite is working in secret, and also, out in the open, where she encourages people to share stories as a way of healing after a loss.