The traffic roared as the sun seared everything its rays hit. Left and right, people scrambled to beat the heat and get to wherever it was they were going; either riding the first jeep they saw or waiting anxious and sweaty in the shade. However there were those in no hurry, or nowhere to go really, that cooled off in the convenience store by the curve. In the heat and madness of it all, on the sidewalk just outside the store sat an old woman, with only her raggy clothes and the store buildings’ shadow barely protecting her from the sun. She was just around her late fifty’s, but the lines on her face; exaggerated by the surrounding light made her look at least past ninety. She positioned herself right beside the chaos of the mid-morning rush hour; in the corner of the convenience store’s curve. Everyone who walked by could see her, but based on the majority’s actions; it was as if she didn’t exist at all – walking past her without a seconds glance, or deliberately looking the other direction so they wouldn’t see her. Like the sight of her was as repulsive as a rotting inside out corpse. Or maybe the sight of the old woman – about the same age as their parents or grandparents, begging for loose change in the sidewalk, was just too hard and too sad to see. As the sun moved across the sky, so did the people across the sidewalk where she sat. Shaking her can and lifting it up hopefully to those who passed. Aside from those that ignored her, there were those that dropped whatever they had – usually one peso or twenty five cents - not as an act of kindness or compassion, but almost as a toll to be paid so they could pass without feeling guilty. Parents with their children in hand would occasionally pass and the children, curious as is their nature, would gesture to the old woman. “Mommy, look at the Lola o.” One little girl said, to which her mother reacted with a loud disapproving TSK and angrily tugging her arm. As if the little innocent girl had done...
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