There’s a stranger in Boro Park who loves me. I know this, because she told me she does. She told me as I stumbled out of my car, my boot-clad foot crushing my cigarette underneath my heel, iced coffee in one hand, purse and papers and coat in the other. She told me as I was running into work twenty minutes late, ’cause, have we met? I am always late to everywhere.
The stranger in Boro Park watched me stumble, watched me running, and called down to me from her second floor balcony. “I love you!” she called. And when I looked around to see who this person is that this sweet, elderly woman loves, she called to me again: “I love you!” Louder this time. “You are a lovely woman, a great woman, and I love you!”
I looked around again, at deserted 46th street. I looked up to the second floor balcony, to the elderly stranger who loves me. I smiled. And I called to her, loudly: “I hope you have a most wonderful day!”
And I really, truly meant it.