Ashley drives a silver Volvo SUV. Her blonde ponytail perfectly pulling her crows’ feet back behind her thirties.

Her ring finger is surrounded by stacked rings, screaming her marital value. She is treasured by a spouse…measured by karats.

At the stop sign, her Prada sunglasses slip from her porcelain nose. As her banded, branded fingers reach to adjust them they suddenly detour to her head. In an instant, the full weight of her head meets the fleshy underbelly of her palm. Ashley is sobbing.

Big waves of sobs that move her shoulders rhythmically. Someone has hurt her. For a moment at a stop sign on a Tuesday afternoon in the San Fernando Valley, Ashley’s hands take over the duty of holding up her head.

She is alone; she is sobbing; she looks every bit of the 44 she really is–and she is radiant.

At that moment, nothing mattered. Tears involuntary and shockingly refreshing–although she was embarrassed into checking her makeup in the mirror. By the time the light changed, her sunglasses were back in place, and her life proceeded as it had all along.

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