Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Story Time: Delores, The Lady On The Corner

When I was living in Boston, MA as an AmeriCorp V.I.S.TA. I would often walk around downtown during my lunch break. I would walk around the Public Gardens or the Boston Common. Some days I would walk down to the water and eat my lunch overlooking the Harbor. No matter when I went for lunch I noticed this homeless lady standing on the corner, the same corner, every day.

She wasn't pan handling or even begging—I don't really know what she did there. I remember the day that snuck into my mind. I didn't know her. I didn't know what she did, where she came from, what her story was that led her to the corner. Most importantly, I didn't know her name.  I had been cordial to her in the past saying hi or good day. I think I even gave her a few bucks now and again but it wasn't the same.

One day I was determined to get to know the lady on the corner. When it came time for lunch I mossied on over to her corner and introduced myself. I asked her name and she smiled her almost toothless grin and said, "My name is Delores, but you can call me D—everybody does." Delores noticed my lunch and told me that if I was going to talk to her I might as well share my lunch. I laughed and let her pick through my lunch and take what she liked. Then we talked about perfectly random things.

Delores asked me if I wanted to buy a newspaper from her. I asked about the newspaper and she told me about Spare Change, a newspaper written & sold by the homeless in Boston. She bought each paper for 25¢ and sold them for $1. She let me know that a few weeks ago they ran an article she wrote. I bought a paper from her and she was done talking with me.

I took my newspaper and what was left over of my lunch and sat down at the base of the fountain in Boston Common, near the beginning of the Freedom Trail. I couldn't help but be grateful for talking to Delores.

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