My mother is avoiding me. I saw her this afternoon. She waited for me in front of the Boston Medical Center’s entrance, wearing a black leather jacket, talking with two women who obviously abuse a substance. She appeared to ask the women to walk with her to my car, but the women shook their heads “no.” My mother avoided eye contact with me. She walked straight to the back window, to my son. Danny said, “Hi, little nana.” Her face said, “I’m tired, worn down, and beat up.” Her eyes were sleepless and her skin dead. My little brother, Malik, sat in the passenger’s seat, with a saddened look on his face. I met with his school’s guidance counselor today, and she told me, “Malik has so much going on in that eleven-year-old brain of his.” I agree.