It was a Thursday evening, the end of a long day at work. There were over a hundred people at the first annual event for the program. A few managers from related programs, one married with husband and child, another with fiancé, one with her sister, and the organizer whose mother just came up from Nevada. The music was a local jazz band, just sultry enough to go along with the affair. The photographs on wall showed the women at their most vulnerable and proud, all for sale to keep shelter open another night. There was a raffle and an auction, what won’t we do for a few more dollars. I wonder at the ease with which some mingle and at the way some couples seem so familiar and intimate with each other even in this crowd of people. A city council woman spoke of the need to support this and other programs to help those less fortunate. My heart lay open to one who was there, knowing hers belongs to another. She introduced me to her sister and named me fabulous for all the help I provide, what is an accountant for after all. Her smile and touch a supernova on the emptiness that fills my reality. The event went on without a hitch. People gathered, ate donated sweets, and gave to a worthy cause. The jazz framing the slow sultry sugary evening I slip back out into evening leaving my heart behind in an event to help those who need it most.

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