The Way Home
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hey called me white trash. Oprah's guest says this and bursts into tears. Compassion gurgles around the studio audience. Only Oprah reigns plump and polished. The softest baby cheeks, coiffured, coated with a yellow designer suit.

Now the show reaches new heights: former bullies appear to confront those people whose childhood they ruined. Boos and hisses from the audience. Irish laughter from the bed in the corner. Nadia can see that Maggie and her husband are holding hands. I never get to see this show, she is saying to him, it's the time when the children are always watching their programs on the other channel. But Nadia cannot laugh like them, her own childhood is still too close to her. She is moved by the pain unfolding before her on the screen. Was she bullied, did she ever bully anyone? Uneasy thoughts. And why is it that so many years later it is so easy to distinguish the bullies from their prey? Adult bodies surrounding the children of long ago. The years have changed nothing.

He wasn't there. Tracy gives the coins back to Nadia. Let's go upstairs. We're not allowed to smoke in here.

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