I must be a ghost. A spirit gliding over the cool tile of the train station. Spirits don’t carry cash or have access to their PayPal accounts anymore, which is probably why the glowing, abrasively positive young people volunteering to get people to volunteer money to various charities and causes never ask me if I “have a minute.” It’s almost upsetting to be ignored like this. Maybe these bastions of light and goodwill can see some sort of dark essence snaking around my aura and they’d prefer not to accept a one-time or preferably monthly donation from me because of it. There’s probably ethical and spiritual standards they have to uphold. They must know about the time I rented Evil Dead and then moved to a different province with the VHS in tow.
One of them wrapped a scarf tightly around themselves as I passed in an obvious effort to protect any exposed facial flesh from the arctic chill emanating from my phantom heart. It was a nice scarf, though. I nearly asked her where she got it but decided not to risk it in case she could see me and followed up “H&M” with “do you have a minute?” I also didn’t want to lead them on. If I made small talk with one that could open the door for others to capitalize and take advantage of my conversational, potentially charitable, minutes. And as much as I love helping others (I once googled directions to an organic market for a lost looking mother-of-three and I was nowhere near any WiFi hotspots—data ain’t cheap!), I also know that I must help myself before I can help them—a dog with no legs can’t save a drowning cat. Or however that one goes. So before I dig deep into my pockets I need to make right with myself, find my legs, and thaw the frozen gristle of my heart, preferably in the heat of online streaming services and detoxifying fruit smoothies.