She is old. She's like 98. She's fat. She shivers as she sits in thestreet all day. Her only friend is the accordion player who doesn't speak herlanguage. She's been here who knows how long, but I make up stories about herlife, like how her name is Ella Mae, how she was a country girl. How she's a NewYork stockbroker gone mad and then broke. How she has been sitting on this streetsince she was 15, and was once a hooker. How she is Italian. How she's mygrandmother, or was an actress who never got any parts. How she's a spy for aforeign country, here on assignment. How she's a reporter, waiting for her bigbreak. How she's a daughter, or maybe a mother who has no children left to raise.How she's afraid of being alone, but likes being by herself. How she's aphotographer who has run out of film, and doesn't know where to get more. Howshe's a tourist who was separated from the group, and then lost her way. How sheloves soap operas. How she's obsessed with the sky and the sun and the moon. Howshe cries on the inside because she's alone, and smiles on the outside. How she'spretending, or maybe just being herself.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.