Published April 21, 2010
old men , old women
In the bright sun, an old man reads the opening pages of the Brothers Karamazov, then splays the book on the table. He’s got a cupcake the size of a softball in front of him. He slices off the bottom half with great care, breaks it up, and lobs the crumbs a few feet off to his side, as if to feed some invisible animals.
At the other end of the yard, an old woman in a grand sun hat and giant sunglasses whistles birdcalls into the bushes. After a while, she looks up and catches me watching. “Did you happen to find a cell phone?” I shake my head no. “That’s too bad,” she says. “I lost mine.”
Published March 27, 2009
old women , oneiric , Uncategorized
Three old women sit down a few tables away. Their faces are still as masks, their wide eyes look right through me.
Published October 8, 2008
familiar stranger , old women
There’s a round woman who sits all day on her stoop. She’s the age of a young grandmother, maybe. She’s round and she smiles and watches the people cross her view. When I pass by I always say hello to her. She looks at me for a long moment, and then the corner of her eyes crinkle and she squeaks a kiss at me. It feels like a blessing.
Published June 14, 2008
old women , oneiric
Three men with flags led a parade of old ladies clutching lilies and a motley brass band sweating a dirge from their horns. They trailed along behind a statue of Jesus on the back of a pickup truck. I asked one of the old ladies, she waved a hand encircling the scene and said, “It’s holy.” As if that explained everything.
Published June 7, 2008
kids , old women
Everyone knows the heat is coming. The children are already wilted. The old ladies are smoking cigarettes on the sidewalks, wearing frowns and housedresses.
Published June 2, 2008
She had a queen’s posture and silver hair and was much too elegant to be lost. She stopped us on a corner in the part of the city where the grid goes haywire, asked us if we knew where a certain restaurant was.
“I don’t know, but my phone might know,” said my friend (this was before such things were commonplace).
“Really,” she marveled, taking her time with the word. “Would you ask it for me?”
He did, and after a while we found the restaurant for her, half a block from where we stood. She introduced herself as though we ought to know her name and admonished us to come to her current show. She was, it turned out, quite famous once. We never did go.
Published May 21, 2008
old men , old women
I’ve seen them before. They are old and weathered and small. He has the permanent grin of a village idiot, even his eyes smile. She is stern, stares back at me, officiously rearranges the contents of her purse.