Monday, January 7, 2013


This is Roberta. When I took this photo about a month ago though I did not know she was Roberta. She was a woman in a blue robe walking past a blank wall and a smoke signal I had some interest in. 

On this day I did not realize that Roberta can dance backwards or that she would come
to refer to my as the "smartest girl in the world." On that day I did not know that later she would insist that she run upstairs to get some money for me, because someone should be paying me lots of money. "Where did you come from? You are beautiful! BEAUTIFUL You are an angel. And look what you can do!" And she would sort of do this little dance and tell me she was going to run upstairs to get me some money.

I said "Oh, don't you worry Roberta I'm being taken care of!" She smiled "I hope so, ok, ok, Beautiful!" She understood she wouldn't have to run upstairs to grab a coin purse to show me some appreciation. But I heard my own blatant untruth mix with her generous gesture and it sat hollow in me.

I also puzzled with the image of a room full of gold coins where she lived in her wardrobe of bathrobes and tried to give money away on the street. Later I learned she once owned the building, before her eyes were clouded by cataracts, when the blue robe was not thread-bare and she danced the Fox Trot or The Hustle with her handsome man.

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