I was a bag lady, a walking dead human being who looked like a graduate of Yale, hair flipped and shiny, a persona of unbreakable optimism and ambition.
My second husband was leaving me. I pretended I was bullet proof. "Get the fuck out of my life," was never said, but backfired so loudly inside my brain I was thrown out into deep space. To get my attention somebody screamed in my ear and waved a hand in front of my face.
Somnambulating among the throngs of people in midtown, I trolled for connections to give proof to my inner reality. I dissociated from the everyday and lost awareness of what I was doing or saying.
I found myself, "There I am," I thought, when I saw the lady atop her bags, like a monument in Morningside Park, high above looking down, scrunched neatly together like a snail curled up in protection.
She is brave to sit visibly as an oracle to the chattering masses who collapse at home out of sight with a beer and the TV.
This lady helped me see my true self and to feel real when others I knew wanted me to make lemonade from lemons, as they put it.
Sometimes dying is a necessary prelude to bringing forth new life.