At least once a week, I drive down NW 59th between May and Independence. There is a lady that lives on the bus stop bench. I see her at Starbucks sometimes.
She talks to herself, but she seems harmless. Just alone. She has several layers of clothes on and is always drinking coffee or PowerAde or bottled water. She carries her belongings with her in a duffle bag.
I am haunted by her. Haunted by the hollow look in her eyes. Haunted by the despair. Haunted by the fact that she lives there when it's cold and rainy and when it's snowing. Haunted by the sheer inhumane way she lives.
I don't know her name. Funny, I should, but I don't. I stop and give her money every now and then. I asked her one day how she was doing and she said "just getting by'... She always says thank you and God Bless you.
Today, I stopped and asked her how she was doing and she said the drink she was sipping on tasted funny. I gave her some money and it took her awhile to get the words out. I think she may have Tourette's or something similar. She finally got the words out - "thank you"! As I was driving away, she yelled "thank you" again!
I'm not sure if there's anything I can do help this woman, but mostly, I just avoid driving down NW 59th, but I'm drawn to her....