Lessons from Marie…

I realize that I have not shared in so long. I had the worst writers block. I think I still have it but I have decided to stop being lazy, listen to a few friends and “JUST WRITE.”  I have wanted to share about my opportunity to meet the most wonderful women over the last few weeks.  Yet, the woman that runs through my mind is my neighbor, Marie*.

I moved into my neighborhood and it was very clear that our neighborhood was “hot”, but not as hot as the neighborhood 10 to 15 minutes down the street. Gentrification, was happening, slowly but surely.  My block is quiet. Not much traffic, expect for my neighbors home. It is a fact there is illegal activity brewing in that place. When I was moving in there was a women staring out of her window. Not dreaming of where to go, just getting the neighborhood news. I nodded  and she said hi.

Marie, never grasped the concept of a doorbell.  One was able to  hear almost all of her guests call for her from the stoop.  I take it she never wanted an intercom or cell phone since she should respond via her window. Ahhh, my neighbor. Thinking of her actually makes me laugh. Most of my friends and family know of her and see her peering through her window.

One day when I was home and had my living room window open. I thought someone was calling my name. I was startled. I realized it has been so quiet and then I heard the news.  “Man, Marie is not around. She maybe in the hospital.” I knew she was HIV positive and I got worried.  I got worried about my neighbor.

A few weeks later, a friend and I were on our way to pick up a bottle of wine I saw Marie! I was so excited I could not contain myself.  We chatted for a bit. It felt good to know she was okay and had a place to stay. She was waiting for her next apartment.  She would not be coming back to the house. I was a bit sad, honestly.  We said bye and we went our separate ways. Marie calls for me “hey mama, have any spare change on you?” I asked my friend  since I only had a large bill. She looked at me crazy. I looked back to Marie and said no.

I have not seen Marie since that night. I miss her walk. Her crooked glasses. Her attempts to “get her life together.”  Her spunk. I guess no matter how much I travel sometimes the funniest and craziest stories  are not from the passport stamps but from your metro card and walking experiences in New York. I have so much to be thankful for this year, despite all the things that I want and the places I’ll go I really hope Marie makes it. I know I won’t bump into her today but if I did I would give her one of my quiches or whatever creation comes out of the over next. I  don’t know what it is about Marie. I know there is a lessons somewhere. Maybe, it is just to look at her as a person, no labels, just the woman next door that has a contagious smile.  Thanks Marie. And maybe, secretly, Marie is another reason why I love my neighborhood and want to be a homeowner in this neighborhood.

There is a happy ending in this story.

*Name has been changed to protect her privacy.




~ by travelling womanists on November 25, 2010.

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