When we met, she was sitting on the curb in a parking lot, surrounded by bags of groceries. Her lined face was a story of decades, her hands curled up. The unrelieved black of her dress framed eyes that had stories in them, and the barrier between us of few common words prevents me from saying too much more about her.
She made the noises of machine guns to indicate her home country, and said that she cleaned homes, that her sister was trying to teach her to speak English but it was hard. She laughed a lot, and so did I. She reminded me of the women I would see sitting on park benches in Israel, staring into the past or talking to each other.
I don’t know her name. But I think about her several months later, after I delivered her and her groceries to a small apartment where she invited me in for tea but I couldn’t stay.Â I think about how we don’t interact in any meaningful way with strangers, that I have begun craving that connection with people I barely know, if only for a few moments.