Random Woman #2 (Piedmont Avenue)

I'm crossing Piedmont At McArthur Blvd. A woman catches up with me and starts talking. Taken by surprise, I don't understand at first. Plus the traffic noise and she has some sort of accent. She repeats and I get it.

"I need your kitchen."

She's older than me, but still young. "I need to cook in your kitchen." She's not joking -- she must be crazy. "I need your kitchen to cook for my children." Her kids must have been with her, though I have no image of them today, it was so long ago. By then I knew she was serious and it made me fearful -- I told her I wouldn't help her. Was I polite, rude or indifferent, I cannot say, only that I had to get away from her fast.

This happened many years ago. I think about her today. Why did she assume I had a kitchen? I wonder now. Had she been watching me over a period of time, or simply assumed I was better off than her?

Upon reflection her manner was most remarkable.This woman directly asserted her need to a stranger.

No threats, no theatrics -- no story -- people aways have a story.

I had a kitchen (with not much in it) and I should have invited her up and fed her family, instead of drinking alone, as usual and writing flavorless poems, most of them since destroyed.

If I had invited her home my life would have changed; it would never have been the same.

© Dorian Cohen


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