Her name was Alice. We were both waiting for buses at the Centrepoint station. It was evening and the buses only run about once an hour in the evenings.
"Would you like some hash?"
"No, but thanks for the offer" I replied.
"Are you in a mood to talk?" she asked.
I wasn't sure what mood I was in. I was returning from having just visited old friends and my old apartment. My emotions were running high and I was feeling pretty low. I told her that it was an interesting question and that perhaps talking was a good thing to do.
We spent about 20 minutes talking. Like me, she was raised Mormon. Like me, she was struggling with the process of being an adult. I smoked a cigarette. She smoked her hash.
It was mostly her mother's brother who had been the problem. I surmised it was sexual abuse. Her mother was overly expressive when it came to her thoughts about men sexualizing her daughter. It made it creepy, and it made her grow into adulthood with the belief that all men were sexualizing her.
She's out in the world now, estranged from her family and trying to make her own way at twenty-four years old. She says she's overly emotional. She broke into tears a few times during our conversation, but given the gravity of the topics we were discussing, I'm not surprised.
When I told her briefly of the state that I was in, she got up and asked me if she could give me a hug. I felt the tears well up in my eyes as we hugged.
Here we were, two emotional messes waiting for buses. I felt a lot less alone in those few minutes than I had the entirety of the day.