Lust and gluttony, the only two deadly sins worth the trouble...
Isabel Allende
From: matthew reynolds
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 12:01 AM
To: the god of Small Favors

at 9 this evening i was plastering the air conditioning closet in the new addition- just dragging along, getting the job done. last night i had heard about a rainn (rape, abuse, and incest survivor something or other) benefit show up the street, headlined by a local woman cynthia. all on the occasion of tori amos's 38th birthday. by eleven o'clock when i'd had dinner and gone over the job with my brother, i thought it's probably way too late for the show, but i found the website and lo and behold it goes on till one. so put on your dancing shoes, matthew, it's a chance to see something new, maybe meet someone interesting.

drive up to the american legion hall a mile away, there is a band playing very loudly and not to my taste, but i plunk down my five dollar cover and five dollar donation and listen. they soon finish, and the organizer of the event, a stunningly beautifully melissa, raffles off a few cds. cynthia starts playing, and she's pretty good, i wish her vocals were more out in front of the band- but i have a really comfortable chair in the front row, and at one point her music and the environment bring on emotional hallucinations, and i'm thinking about kara, and almost crying there in my really comfortable chair. after her set, played to a small crowd, there are about twenty of us in the building, melissa comes back up and gives away a copy of tori's new unreleased cd- worth, as she points out, a hundred dollars on ebay. she's crying as she does this, and can barely do it. seems (from overheard conversation in the following minutes) that she's put a lot of effort and time into this show, and people she really counted on to come haven't shown, and she's not brought in much money and feels, i guess, lonely. anyways, i get a cd from cynthia and ask her if i can take her out to lunch and she's very happy to put her phone number on the cd along with her autograph. so i help put chairs away, and drive home.

get into the driveway and sit there for a couple minutes thinking about life, melissa, and katherine. haven't even turned off the engine. i realize that i've just lost a dear woman to abuse, and that there is an opportunity here to do something good. so i drive back up to the american legion hall, and find melissa, and whilst stumbling over my words a bit, tell her i really appreciate what shes done and i'm aware that it's kind of difficult for her tonight, and that my first wife from many years ago just killed herself three weeks past as the eventual result of just the kind of abuse this benefit is for and i want to do something good for her memory and i give her a hundred dollar bill. and she's a bit taken aback and so am i and i put my name down on the mailing list and i go back to my car and cry for a few minutes and drive home and write this...

i did see something new, and i hope she feels better.

love to all,



"If God didn't mean for us to juggle,
tennis balls wouldn't come three to a can."