I was headed to the food carts downtown at work. As I walked passed the shoe shop’s great window bank, I was surprised by the experience of my own reflection. There was my familiar and friendly face, well worn, rising up out of my giant, gray scarf knotted beneath my chin. I looked so…complete. I had my $5 and I was going to buy my beans and rice in a bowl. It was not raining and, newly recovered from a few weeks of bronchitis and sinusitis, I found just moving and breathing outside without difficulty to be a marvel.
I had this giddy thought, the kind I used to get in my early 20’s when I was traveling alone in an unfamiliar city: I am alone! I could do anything! I could be anyone! A feeling of anticipation penetrated my raincoat and scarf into the deep sun that had been sleeping a long time in my bones. There were things still to be discovered about that face in the window. She had people to meet not yet encountered. She had men to love not yet chosen. There were joys ahead her exhausted lungs could comprehend allowing. The drudgery of the daily grind parted like a curtain in my mind and I studied that woman in the window like a stranger on the bus. Who would she prove herself to be? I wanted to follow her wherever she was going and find out.
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