I am pretty positive that I met the reincarnation of Big Edie Beale
this morning. I was walking to work as usual, trucking on down Church towards Market with music blasting in my headphones when I saw this older white woman with long, silvery-gray, disheveled hair wearing a black, strapless, calf-length dress made of some kind of modern, sporty looking micro-fabric that threatened to slide directly off her bosom as it was weighed down by the strap of a bright red mini-messenger bag. I noticed her reaching her arm out towards me andto show no signs of continuing it's forward motion that we'd both be victim moving her mouth as I walked by so I pulled out one of my ear buds to hear what she had to say, bracing myself for my usual response of about not having any cash on me.
"Can you help me across the tracks," she asked, continuing to reach for my arm. I looked right and saw the N Judah train creeping out of the tunnel towards the intersection we stood at.
"Sure. But do you want to wait until the train passes?" But she already had taken hold of my forearm and began moving towards the criss-cross of metal tracks in front of us, guitars, drums and howling vocals providing a totally inappropriate soundtrack in my right ear. We ambled slowly across the street and I was surprised at how strong her grip was. I looked down at her cracked and dry, flip-flop clad feet and then up at her sun-tanned face and little hairs sticking out above her upper lip and really felt like I was looking into the face of Edie Beale. Albeit a quieter, slightly less eccentric version of her. I worried as the train seemed s of another Municide
. But the driver began slowing down so I didn't have to worry about how I would grab and drag this sizable woman and bring her to safety if he had not.
We reached the opposite curb and I asked her if she wanted me to keep walking her to the bus stop. She simply let go of my arm and mumbled "thank you", looking away to rummage in her bag. I popped my left ear bud back in and continued my brisk pace to work, hoping I might see her again on my usual route and maybe get the courage to ask if I could take her picture.