I found her.

February 5th, 2009

i was out looking at public housing and had to go to the bathroom. The Station is one of the few places where the restroom doesn’t have a dress code. As i entered the waiting room, i noticed a familiar set of faces – a subset of my colleagues, The Blenders. They look not too much funkier than normal traveler funk – indistinguishable to the unschooled eye. They blend in.

i saw a familiar looking jacket. i hadn’t seen it in daylight before, but it was the same jacket – Air Force. She was The Aviatrix. She had a round face – full and pink – oddly cherubic. She wasn’t pacing as before. She was seated, but talking to herself in a very quick animated way. You’re always guaranteed to win that kind of argument – and lose it too.

i was afraid to approach her. Not that she would pound me, [the same editorial comment still holds :)] too many witnesses. It was as if i were homeful – afraid that her madness might be contagious. i summoned my courage. i had a mission – a mission i had been on since my last night outside.

She had a makeshift bedroll – rather thin for the current temperatures. i had been looking for her since mid December. She didn’t have the gear to weather the cold outside. i tried to get some to her, but i couldn’t stay ’till after midnight. i have a curfew now. Two days after i ‘came in’ i found a synthetic mummy bag. A mummy fits your form, no extra space to heat with precious body heat. Synthetic stays warm wet and drys quickly. i wanted her to have it, but i couldn’t find her. Well, if she was determined to stay out, i wanted her to have it. i wasn’t sure i really should. What if i encouraged her to stay outside? On the other hand, the social workers are always pushing people to ‘go in’. They think it’s just so much better than being outside. They are homeful. They are crazy.

i asked her if she was keeping warm at night. i didn’t understand her answer right away. She asked about me. i told her i was inside. Where? Cambridge. She thought i should go to D.C. That’s where she wanted to go, but they wouldn’t let her. The olive jumpsuit may have convinced her i’m a veteran. i never served, but i am a casualty.

But she’s inside. So the skimpy bedroll is enough. i was pretty sure she would survive without my help. But i didn’t want to take the risk. She’ll survive. i didn’t know what more i could do. i wished her well and left her in animated conversation with herself.

2 Responses to “I found her.”

  1. Direction Home… » Blog Archive » i found her again. Says:

    […] She touched my life oh so briefly, but she offered me a moment of clarity in my confusion. But i cannot return the favor. Sadmaking. i left her again in animated conversation with herself. Posted by fensterm Filed in […]

  2. the guy by the door … » Blog Archive » Morning of the homeless. Speak Out at the Statehouse. Says:

    […] homeless. I did not speak. I felt my colleagues were more eloquent. The Aviatrix did not speak. I suspect from past experience with her, she could […]

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