10 December 2009

Goodbye Gloria

our laundromat window, photo frm my sweet neighbor, an apple a day

I rummaged through the bowl of change on his bedside table this morning, as the store was in need of quarters. "Today's Thursday," I thought, "which means laundry on Saturday and we'll be out of quarters, but she will change our bills for us just like she always does on Saturdays."

After dinner with one so dear and clear, who inspires better thought and more mindful conversation, a girl was standing in front of the battered metal gate of our laundromat, where a few notes and cards were taped slap-dash, and two bodega bouquets lay crossed on the sidewalk. I thought instantly of our dingy block, and the park behind us, and misfits and mischief and something gone awry. As I stood beside the girl, I knew what she knew: not this Saturday. Gloria was killed the other day. The sign said she died peacefully, on vacation, happy, in Aruba. She was young and unbelievably kind and I loved to listen to her mindful, intelligent conversations as I folded laundry. She was sweet to the grubby gaggle of children I try to avoid as they spill down the street.

I've added my slip of paper to the gate: I hope that her family, including the two small, quiet children I believe belonged to her, know that this rundown block treasured her. I am ashamed that I only tonight learned her name.


lisefife said...

I think I am about to require a fainting couch, that is what I think!
I won the very cool book and must prepare a suitable environment for the enjoyment of it. Silk, french perfume and something to sip, at the least, perhaps much more, I shall be in a state until it arrives.
Thank you, thank you.

Sent an email with address details.

lisefife said...

See how excited I got over the book? Sorry, sorry, I posted my happiness in the wrong comments! Please disregard where I mistakenly posted.

This is what I meant to say here.
It is sad that people can just leave the circle of our notice and sometimes it is forever and we do not even know they are gone until too late. Maybe we should notice more of the people who make up our daily life, they all matter and can all vanish so quickly.