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May 24, 2013

the woman on the stoop.

there is a tiny woman who sits on the stoop of an apartment next to a now-closed argo tea. i see her nearly every day on my walk to work.

she has stringy brown hair and reddish-brown glasses and she sits hunched over on that stoop, like she's been in that position for over forty years. she looks like she rattles a bit, but then, i think a lot of people look like that.

this woman smokes long thin brown cigarettes, the kind my grandmother used to smoke before she had to quit. she hurt her leg, couldn't drive, and everyone in our family joined forces to stop buying them for her. she didn't like this.

but i think of my grandmother when i walk past this fragile-looking woman. my grandmother, who looked nothing like her, was not a fragile woman in any way. this woman who ran a restaurant and raised three kids pretty much on her own was tough. that is the first word i'd use to describe her to someone who never met her.

this woman drinks big-gulp-sized cups of soda from the 7-11 across the street. with three bags next to her she sits, but she doesn't seem to be waiting for the bus that pulls up right in front of her. she doesn't get up to board it.

today i passed the corner, but turned around and walked back to look at her again. i don't know why and i don't what i was trying to see. i stood there and stared for another ten seconds.

she just sits, waiting for something.

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