Blogs by Vicky M Semones
7/28/2012 6:03:54 PM
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An unusual woman 'holds court' in a village in Oakland.
She sits in the shadow of each day, wrapped against the chill of passersby. Bulky sweater over layers of thin fabric; folding chair angled against a concrete building, protecting an assortment of belongings. ‘Street Spirit’ newspaper draped over a canvas shopping bag. She does not entreat, but occupies her ‘spot’ with ease and sense of belonging. She sits peacefully, with brown eyes slightly squinting into the sun.
Yet, eagerly people come out of the sunshine and lean into her shade:
An Asian woman with arms flung wide for a hug, shares her news about recent travel, then tithes as Erlene easily smiles;
A Caucasian woman arrives with a gentle hand shake and talks quietly about family, while Erlene listens cheerfully, then quickly accepts the woman’s discrete offering;
A young child, gathered to Erlene’s ample bosom, eagerly shares a delight of the day, while his mother encourages him to place some money in Erlene’s brown hand – it disappears in her practiced grasp.
She ‘holds court’ almost every day, from mid-morning until 1PM or 2PM, when she has enough booty to go grocery shopping down the street. She gathers herself and her belongings to her old, dusty chariot, goes on a couple of errands, fixes dinner, then has some uninterrupted television time, especially for the jesters on the not-so-courtly, ‘Two and a Half Men”.
I’ll look for you tomorrow, Erlene, maybe you’ll accept my offering.
Note: “Erlene” is a variant of the Old English name, Earla, meaning ‘noblewoman, princess, warrior, countess’.
How about that…
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