Morning commuters drive by the busy streets while those walking hurriedly down the sidewalks stopping for their morning coffee while checking their blackberries for those important meaningless messages. The sun is just starting to rise giving a glimmer of hope for a beautiful day.

Last night they dragged my dead drug riddled body away. The gossip spreads like wildfire in the street another one gone they quickly whisper afraid that it could be them who may be next. The story is that Neil saw her last as she struggled to find that last good vein for the hit that would take her pain away. She screamed at the passerby’s who strolled down the late night street coming from the movie just around the corner. They stare with sheer disgust rather than pity at this drug ravaged women. Her babble hung heavy in the sticky arid summer night’s air slowly drifting away with new cries for help.

Did you see it in hers eyes that she recognized you that morning a year ago when you passed by starting that new job? Your eyes darted quickly away not wanting to be called out in name. She calls out in incomprehensible babble of days gone by. Remember when we had so much fun that summer by the sea you were going to be an actress & I was going to be nurse. Her soul radiated with energy & a sparkle that attracted all who met her. Remembering back to those years so far ago I reflect at the memories of Belinda who was going to be something one day. What happened I thought to her that brought her to this?

After that summer we met a few years later at an annual party celebrating a new year at college. Coke was the popular drug of choice & Belinda always game to try something new laughed & giggled as she tried her first snort. Come on Kim its great me being the more cautious one declined once again at her many antics of life experiences.

I did see the tears in her eyes as I passed by that morning as she reached out her arms in recognition. I was embarrassed by the connection & quickly passed by without acknowledging her calls. Why is it that when someone hits rock bottom we won’t reach out & give a helping hand is it our own demise we are so afraid of.

This morning I see that the corner sits empty with street people chatting around in a circle close by. I over hear their whispered comments of the loss of another. I realize that they are talking about a long ago friend & I approach the circle cautiously & stammer out the words that echo back & ring in my ears. Was it Belinda who died last night? They turn to look directly at me who to them was an outsider. What’s it to you lady in those fancy clothes who are you they ring out in chime. I think about the many memories of all the laughter & fun that we used to have. Belinda was my friend I quietly say. Well says the one with the funny shaped hat as she steps closer to get a better look at me. She says well here on the street we have a sort of way to pay respect to those who are gone. I want to know I blurt out filled with guilt at not wanting to reach out to a friend. Simple she says Belinda’s corner will sit empty at least for today. Crumbling to the ground I sob uncontrollably for a friend who was going to be a star one day. I bend my hands to pray “My Dear Belinda ~ May your corner sit empty at least for today.”

Written by Kim Robin