I went up to the bank machine at 5th & S. Craig in a rush as usual. (How can my so called easy life always be in a rush?)
There at the corner was Karen "the flower lady", who sells pathetic American bouquets of flowers- so unlike Amsterdam's Bloemenmarkt http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloemenmarkt
. I usually buy a bouquet from her but since we are moving there is no place for beauty in my little Winthrop house that I am sad to leave, after 28 years here.
Karen knows everything about everyone- in some general way. I wonder what she knows about me? Karen had given up her folding chair to an "antique-woman". A "fine antique-woman", dressed all in black coat and fancy hat, shoes, nylon hose and cane. A beautiful & elegant antique-woman. The beauty of her youth radiated through her patina of wrinkles. She was "somebody special", and a walking anachronism.
I quickly used the bank machine and when I turned back she was walking to cross 5th Avenue. I asked Karen as my bank card and receipt was slowly popping out, "who is that?!"
And her answer was- "She used to be a Madame, and lives up the way".
My frigg'n slow-ass bank card pops out and I look towards 5th Ave. and she is laying in the street. She had almost made it to the curb, and 3 young people were helping her up, and walked her out of sight behind a bus.
I wanted to run over and help, but it was already done and the light had changed.
Oh how I'd love to know her story. She is one of several "antique- women" I will always think of as I become an old woman myself.