She places hot black stones against the soles of my feet then looks into my eyes for approval. I smile, wondering what approval means to her as I think of the man who waited two years to tell me he had cancer, and who if my help wasn’t needed, never would have told me anything at all.

I know nothing. Not even what the stones intended or what the woman hoped to heal. But I smile. Always I smile. It means “thank you”, not for the outcome, but for the effort.

I go home tired with her effort, mine, his, and ours. In bed I assume infant pose, because still I know nothing, my ignorance leading to an inaudible cesspool of vulnerable tears.

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