Just got back from an AA meeting. I was asked there for the third week in a row if I’d “heard about Lisa.” I had. I’d known her most of ten years.
She was about 50 years old. Lived much of her life in the street. Her mental illness resulted in her constantly challenging people (e.g., landlords) and getting evicted from housing. For years she slept in her car and moved it from shopping center to shopping center every few days. She dressed shabbily and yet occasionally talked of her Ivy League college days. She was a soldier in the U.S. Army and also played the guitar in local coffee shops. She had a temper and it flared a lot. She didn’t like “street people.”
When my children were little and we passed Lisa in the street they would ask me if I knew her. I did and the kids would say “figures.” You could just tell from looking at her that something was wrong. She hung out in AA meetings every day and night (she was an alcoholic). Some nights I would give her a ride home – depending on where home was. She frequently had a distinct smell but that was alright. She was well known to us all and not known at all.Lisa passed away quietly one night three weeks ago. Nobody saw it coming. I miss her in a way I never thought imaginable. It really saddens me. Can’t explain it. Don’t have to. You know what I mean.