Refuse to be Passive

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm

She stands on the corner of my block. Her jacket is three sizes too big—black, purple, and teal—a windbreaker from the early 90’s. Her legs are toothpicks, clad in black. Simple black Keds adorn her feet. A large, black, faux-leather purse with plastic gold hardware hangs off one scarecrow arm. Her skin is bronze, like it’s the middle of the summer, when really it’s only the end of March. Her dark eyes are narrow slits, her lips a thin, wide, red line.  

The jacket is wrapped tightly around her. She shifts her weight back and forth, gazing hopefully at passing cars, occasionally giving a little wave, inviting someone to stop.  She may be in her early 40s, but she looks like she’s nearing sixty. The challenges of life have ravaged her features. Life as a prostitute has clearly not been kind to her, and has likely left her with addictions to deal with, along with other health issues.

Here she is, standing on the corner, across the street from me as I wait at the bus stop. I look down at the birthday cake I’m carrying and can’t help but feel guilty at the affluence and lifestyle I am afforded, when I can see how brutally this woman has been failed by our society—a society I am a part of.

I think I just found the next neighbour I’m going to get to know.


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