Please give me money I'm hungry
I finish up at the gym and stop at Metropolitan Market in lower Queen Anne on my way home. Park, rush down the elevator and turn the corner to walk down the stairs. The woman's strong but not demanding voice stops me. Please give me money I'm hungry she says.
Her hair is gray and long, not exactly unkempt but not exactly combed either. She is wearing a black puffy coat, more worn than mine. She has on a scarf and another long coat. She's probably wearing her entire winter wardrobe. In her left hand she holds a plastic bag. I can see a newspaper through it along with a solitary apple.
Her brown eyes look at me. They look right at me. They are not lowered. They are not red rimmed. They are bright shiny clear eyes. I say - do you want me to get you a sandwich.
Yes, she says and smiles delightedly. Okay, I say, stay right here and I'll be back. Do you want turkey. That would be wonderful she says. With horseradish.
I turn the corner walk into the store and mumble - horseradish? I don't think so. Go to the deli section and get a Turkey sandwich with Havarti. Swing by the sushi area and get my dinner. Walk into the fruit section, peel off a banana. Go to the bakery section, get an oatmeal raisin cookie. Go to the frig section, get a bottle of juice.
In the checkout line I ask for a separate brown bag for everything but the sushi. I put the sushi in my big carry all and walk out with the paper bag in hand. As I walk up the stairs, I see her. She is waiting for me. Her breath is coming out in white puffs. And her brown eyes are twinkling.
I hope you have somewhere warm to go I say, as I hand her the bag. She thanks me and doesn't say anything about where she will be going. I turn the corner and begin my assent up the escalator. I hear the rustle of the bag being opened and a delighted loud chuckle.
As I get in my warm car and head up to my warm home, I wonder. Will she eat her meal. Or will she exchange it for something I'd rather not know about. Will she hide it and ask strangers for more money for food. Or will she turn in for the night with a happy full tummy.
I will never know.