Saturday, October 1, 2016
Pictures from the Floating World: Anonymous
On a City Bus in Portland, Maine
Boarding the Congress Street line in Portland, Maine, I saw a number of faces that might have been long-term occupants of park benches or front stoops with peeling paint. A new passenger using a walker climbed laboriously on, but her intent face brightened when she noticed a familiar old friend.
"Hey, hello there, Jerry, I haven't seen you for ever so long! It must be thirty-seven years! But you look about the same. I hope you're doing better than I am. Someone swiped my pain medicine, and I really need it. The doctor said you're allowed one emergency refill a year so he gave it to me. That's never happened to me before, so it worked out all right. Now my friend Annie says if they're going to steal from you, they don't belong in your house. I do need this stuff."
(She pulled out a pill bottle and swallowed one without a drink.)
“You know, it's been thirty-seven years since I seen you, and you haven't changed. No, I wasn't quite twenty last time, so it was thirty-nine years ago. Now me, I've got older. Yeah, I’ve got older. You know, they used to say back then when my sister and I walked down the street, there wasn't a man that didn't turn his head to look. But that was then.”
(She pulled out the pill bottle again and took another one.)
“I do need my medicine and that's a fact.”