A woman walks up to me in a coffee shop
|I took a seat around the corner from the register so the manager couldn’t see I was here again. I asked the woman, fortyish, with dry looking hair and an orange business suit, who was eating lunch at the table beside me, if I could have her chips. “I haven’t eaten in four days,” I said. She gave me her chips, and looked at me, seeming surprised at the female face looking back at her. “Where do you stay?” she asked. “Follow me,” I said impulsively, “and I’ll show you right now.” She was finishing the last bite of her sandwich, awkwardly saying “No,” and looking away. “I’m afraid when I walk by homeless shelters. No offense,” she said.
I walked out into the street and into the door of my apartment, the one I shared with three roommates, which we were about to lose. I saw the woman from the coffee shop eying me as I opened the door.
The next day as I sat in my usual spot in the coffee shop, filling out job applications and eating chips, a woman I didn’t know walked up to me assertively, carrying a bundle in her arms. “Darlene told me about you,” the woman said, looking down at the papers in her arms. “Follow me.”