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A Box of Gratitude    (Continued)

When I finally reached her, she said, “I give you points for persistence.” Even I couldn't deny the comedic nature of our usual routine. “I know you want to leave but I can't yet. I have twelve spots left on the board. Mind sticking around for another half hour?” Her casual assumption that I would be glad to throw away another half hour of my life was frustrating. However, I knew there was really no way around her need to stay, and so we would.

“Fine,” I surrendered, scanning the room for someone under the age of 80 to talk to. On my way over to my friend Olivia, I noticed a pile of pamphlets. I picked one up and started thumbing through it. Uniforms and school books: $30; Medication, vaccinations, and protective bug netting: $26; Wheelchairs: $75.

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