Right and Good


Maisy didn’t want to tell the man how she felt.  He kept asking and she kept turning her eyes away from him.  They sat in the little gray room, damp and stinking of urine.  The man wore a plain gray suit, almost making him fade into the wall behind him.  Maisy knew his name was Mr. Patterson, but she called him “Patty” for the aggravation it seemed to cause him.

“Maisy, if you won’t talk to me I can’t help you.”  He spoke slowly, deliberately, almost robotically.

She looked directly in his eyes and felt it – that same feeling she’d had so many times before when she began to size them up, decide if they were worthy of her.  Was he?  She would need a few more minutes with him before she really knew.

“Patty – tell me something will ya?  How come all you shrinks always want to know how people feel when they do things? What the hell does that matter anyway?”  She propped her elbows on the table in front of her and rested her chin in the palms of her hands, acting more like an adolescent than the 28-year-old woman she was.

“Maisy, when we can understand how you feel about things, we can uncover why you do the things you do, and then get on the path of recovery and rehabilitation.  Wouldn’t you like to know why you did the things you did?” 

“Hell no. I’ve done done them now. Won’t change nothing.  Besides, I did it right and I did it good.”

“Right and good?  Tell me more about what was right and good about what you did.”

Maisy watched Patty bite down on his ink pen; it would have to do. He was worthy all right. The smells of the damp and urine penetrated her nose first, followed by the sweet smell of fresh blood.  She could never get enough of that smell.  It covered all those dirty smells in the room, leaving only its pungent fragrance behind.  She did Patty right and good, too, even if he couldn’t appreciate her for it.

 Sheila Pierson, 2011

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