the lady in the cafe

25 July 2017


White hair in curls and eyes of ice, she approached me. "I haven't seen anything like that before" she said, pointing at the free bag I'd been given. "Do you mind if I take your picture?" A conversation erupted, one so expressive her walking stick flew with a clunk to the ground. My hands clasped around the handle of my cup, hers around her camera. 

She wouldn't be content with a photo of her tomato soup, she told me. Unlike the rest of the retirement home residers she wanted people, personalities -- life -- to be instilled within the frame. The essence of Cuba Street, she wanted to capture. And I felt blessed that she'd chosen me. That I got to hear her story. That a novice and a fountain could merge, even for a moment. She told me of her Vespa laden trip to Europe in her twenties, she told me of her husband's death, and handed me her phone number alongside the promise of a guided tour. I gave her little pockets of my truths, too. 

Even when it seems like you're making stabs in the dark, beams can shine through.

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