Down

July 22, 2014

What was she doing here in this hot weather? The day was hot and humid, yet going in and out of the subway would have been too expensive. Her chin hit the sidewalk. It happened almost without her realizing it. One minute she was up and the next down. Her whole body hurt but the chin got the worst of it. he hoped someone in the street full of people would offer to help her up. No one did. he struggled up again as best she could, picking up her purse. She shook her head and on she went. The day was too bright to think about heartlessness.

The Seat

August 31, 2015

The Seat

She was tired. Pushing the black suitcase took a lot out of her. This was the 12th  week already of getting it from one part of the city to another and yet another. Walking by an apt. building on East 49th, almost 3rd Avenue, she saw a green bench outside an apt. building. She breathed a sigh of relief and put the suitcase next to her. This thing, she thought. I am too good a person to lug it around everywhere. But it has my favorite stuff in it. Just then, an older woman passed by with her little dog. She stopped in front of where the other woman sat. “Excuse me, “she said.” You can’t sit here. This seat is only for the residents and the customers of the coffee shop.” The other woman opened her eyes wide. “Why?” The dog owner repeated what she had said adding: “There have been complaints and the police have been called.” The other woman shook her head. She wanted to say something like: complaints because they see someone tired get a well- deserved few minutes of rest? Isn’t there enough crime in NYC that cops have to pick on harmless women? What’s the use? The dog and the woman walked to a tree up the block; then returned to where the other woman was. “Next time you say something like that to a homeless person, smile.” “I was very polite.” “But you didn’t smile. I like your dog anyway.” She took the suitcase and her purse and left.

Stone

August 26, 2015

She was on the end part of the seat. His legs were spread out, his hands looked like he was praying. The eyes of the man were brown and hard. She looked at him, then looked away. She turned her face towards the left, so he wouldn’t see her expression. Her eyes were wet. She looked at him again. He didn’t move. His eyes stared at the window in front of him. Her face wanted to cry.

The Steps

August 22, 2015

The steps

It was dark, after 11 in the evening. Two men sat on the lower steps of a church. One was young, about 22, the other a little older. They had just finished eating. Brown paper bags, empty food containers and plastic cups were all around them. The younger took something out of his duffel bag. He put it in his mouth. After a few minutes, his face looked dazed and his eyes seemed like two pieces of glass. The other man lit a cigarette. At one point the younger one said: I like you. He put his hands around the other man’s waist. They remained together until the early morning hours.

Lemonade

August 19, 2015

Lemonade

She opened her eyes. A sound woke her up. Her hand went inside the bag. She was thirsty. Where was the lemonade bottle? The concrete steps felt hard. She got up and looked in the first bag. No, it wasn’t there. Maybe she had put it in the other bag. She probably had been so tired that she hadn’t realized the mistake. There was no lemonade in the second bag. Somebody had taken it. While she was asleep, someone had climbed the steps and grabbed the lemonade bottle. Now she had nothing to drink. She had to wait until 7 in the morning to get a drink, coffee or juice, whatever.

Gotta Go

August 18, 2015

4:30 A.M. The rain started to come down hard. She took refuge by the entrance of a cell phone store. She put her suitcases against the glass windows of the building. It didn’t matter if she got a little wet, but her stuff? She had to protect that.

It was almost 2 hours later and the rain hadn’t stopped. A man walking by saw her and her belongings. “Excuse me. You got to go!” She picked up the first suitcase, then the second one and started walking.

At the corner of the subway station someone saw her pushing her suitcases. “A cup of coffee? Would you like a cup of coffee?” She looked at the person talking to her in disbelief. “What?” The person repeated what she had just said. “Oh, coffee! Yes. Thank you. I’d like that. Thank you very much.”

Second Time Around

August 18, 2015

The Second Time Around

The first time out was short—6 weeks. They seemed longer. What I remember about them was the wetness. It rained frequently and my little one and I got unwanted showers. This time it is 10 weeks and counting. I am noticing things that were not visible the first time. I see more women out. The women are carrying large bags, plastic and not plastic. The women have large suitcases and they drag the suitcases across the floor, across the sidewalk. These women mostly dress in black—black skirts, sweaters, black scarves and coats and sunglasses. They are in mourning. They probably miss what they don’t have any more: a place that is their own, somewhere with a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and a plant or two.

Dollar

August 17, 2015

The Dollar

“It was a dollar. Can you believe it? They stole a damn dollar from me.” He rubbed his eyes hard with his middle fingers to wake himself up. “How did they do it? His friend asked. “I was asleep and somebody put their hand in my pocket.”

“I am sorry,” someone walking by said.” It shouldn’t have happened.” He waved his hands up in the air. “Do you have a cigarette on you?” “No, I don’t smoke.” The man on the sidewalk shrugged his shoulders and went back to sleep.

Soul Mate

August 17, 2015

Soul Mate

That’s the exact word: You were my soul mate. I could have no secrets from you. I looked at you and you knew what I wanted to say. You never judged. I never heard you tell me: No, you shouldn’t feel this way. It’s not socially acceptable. I felt free with you. When we walked during those brief evenings, you and I were in a Special kind of Heaven, a place nobody could touch. It was ours and ours alone. How I miss those nights! I would give anything to have you back with me, to look into your eyes and smile with joy and contentment.

The Eyes

August 17, 2015

The Eyes

Their expression is tense, expectant. They want something, but they don’t know what. The eyes speak. They don’t need words, even if they could use words. They go from soul to soul looking for life, for excitement. The eyes want to feel the rest of the person. They want the person to be alive.

The Dollar

August 17, 2015

The Dollar

“It was a dollar. Can you believe it? They stole a damn dollar from me.” He rubbed his eyes hard with his middle fingers to wake himself up. “How did they do it? His friend asked. “I was asleep and somebody put their hand in my pocket.”

“I am sorry,” someone walking by said.” It shouldn’t have happened.” He waved his hands up in the air. “Do you have a cigarette on you?” “No, I don’t smoke.” The man on the sidewalk shrugged his shoulders and went back to sleep.


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