She was sitting hunched next to the subway entrance.
I couldn't just walk by,
prayed about what to say,
whether to share pizza.
"We can get out of the cold,  get some food..."
"My name is Samantha."
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She's twenty four years old, from upstate New York.
Only been in the city a few months,
"didn't work out."
She's been homeless for about a week.
Sleeps on the A train, rides it up and down.
Bathrooms.
Said she was sitting outside to smoke a cigarette.
It's not time to take her ride just yet.
People buy her meals. Like me.
Says she has an audition tomorrow. She's a dancer.
"I'm a musician myself.
Busking..."
I explained how I make my living,
how I keep my expenses down...
"Ever tried dumpster diving?
It's different in NYC.
Ever noticed there's no actual dumpsters?
I get food every Tuesday:
bagels, donuts, chocolate, fruits, veggies...
Here's my card.
You can stay in touch, get free internet at the library.
42nd and 5th."
She writes like she talks. Slowly.
When she looks at me I notice she has a lazy eye.

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She ate less than half of her pizza,
said she was suffering from stomach pain.
Ulcers.
"They don't know what it's from."
I offered to take her to a pharmacy,
but she already has Pepto Bismol.
"I'm taking the train up to 145 street if you want some company."
It's not time to take her ride just yet.
Please e-mail me to touch base.
I'll meet you on Tuesday at 10p,
116th street, Columbia University.
Have a good night, see you then.

By: Gio Andollo

 



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