Local fixture.

The lady on the bus-stop bench was having a hollered colloquy with a guy across the street when I walked up. When he moved on, she turned to me and explained that she was always getting into conversations. “I’ve lived here for many years. Sometimes I walk down Court Street, and I talk to someone, and then to someone else, and there’s the day!

“My daughter lives in Connecticut,” she said, her voice dropping on the name. “She says, ‘Ma, come out here.'” She made an operatic, palm-out gesture of rejection, shaking her head for added emphasis. “It’s the wilderness out there!”

Then the local bag lady went by us pushing her cart. “Doris!” And she was on to the next conversation.

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