At first I wrote them off as a startling nuisance, like the random couple who barged into my apartment one Saturday. I heard the key fumbling in the lock, two voices in the hall.

In line with Sue at Einstein’s Bagels, the place echoed as if to say I wasn’t well enough to be there. I recall the overwhelming scent of hazelnut coffee. People staring.

Sue would see “Lincoln Park Hospital” on the caller ID and let it go to voicemail, and she did. Who knew if she was even still awake?

I sat on the curb, a block from home and so far from it. The man who hit me was there, asking how I was. He was gentle, kind. I couldn’t even hate him, and I wanted to.

When the bus didn’t leave, I knew destiny was in play. It’s one of those things, like missing a plane. You wonder, why did I miss it?

I was half way across the street before my life changed. I couldn’t see the car, just two blinding headlights set an ungodly width apart. Their whiteness barreled toward me with no sign of slowing.

I still pray in the bath. Out of habit now, not out of necessity. Once a place becomes a shrine it stays that way forever.