We joked about our old lives.  We were war wives, tired and forgotten, and always cleaning, waiting for our men to return from gas stations.  At least we had each other.  We drank tea on the stoop and consoled each other.  She was my dear.  I listened to her recite poetry and essays.  But I always missed the middle of her stories as I stared at her jewelry.  Something about her grandfather, and then I only remember a turquoise necklace in the shape of a hummingbird, silver earrings with drop-beads in the center, layered necklaces with colored stones.  Everything I told her I should have told myself back then.  I had to change so much of who I am to be who I was.  It’s ridiculous how long we lasted there.

I got really caught up in trying to figure myself out.  We’re not meant to live among rats and mold.