It is dusk, the stoplight at Arsenal and Watson Streets in St. Louis, the chill blistering nubby tree limbs.

Suddenly a pink blur intrudes into my teeming world. I gawk. Yes, variegated pinks: long quilt coat buttoned to the neck, mittens, a child’s backpack. The solitary figure jiggles, dances in place, waves her arms. Spritzers of gray hair poke through her stocking cap tied beneath her pasty chin; her face resembles a dried apple.

I am uneasy. I look more closely. Who is this woman? Where has she been her long years? With whom? Does she need help? My help?

She turns, a vacant look in her eyes, and hugs her spindly chest. The Metro bus pulls to a stop. She climbs aboard and flashes her pass and weaves toward an empty seat. Suddenly my concerns diminish. The bus rumbles toward midtown, perhaps home for this fellow traveler.

Seasoned by hardship, she does not need my help. Perhaps I could benefit from hers.

(Pink symbolizes sensuality, emotions, and transformation. per, J. E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols.)

 

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