-- a series of vignettes --

As a person who spends 30% of her waking hours in her car, I've grown used to taking in everything in one quick sidelong glance as I shoot past or round the corner.  Sometimes what I see is crystal clear in content as well as intent, but not always...

"Afternoon Delite""

I speed between two school campuses -- from one set of children to another.  Like so many inner city schools, ours is set in what many think of as a less-than-desirable neighborhood.

But you have to know the people.

You have to know the dreadlocked grandfather who plays African drums on his front stoop every morning.

You have to know the old lady who leaves her door open for the neighborhood children to duck in and hide behind the strength of her shotgun.

You have to know the teacher who moved into the 'hood to be with his students.

And you have to know the school moms who drove Thomas' mother to hospital for her cancer treatments and who run the coat drive for the homeless.

Homeless like the two people in the park.  He, curled up on the picnic table in a tan parka, rusty red knit cap jammed upon his head, backpack pressing on his back and plastic bag of belongings clutched tightly to his chest.  She, kneeling upon the bench wearing a blue jacket -- hey, I used to have a jacket just like that! -- with tattered gloves and matted brown hair and pants in knit so tight they strain across her bulging rear like a plastic bag about to split over browning peaches.  Her head is level with his belt buckle, his head cocked back in anxious glee while she -- in my old coat? -- .

I whiz by.  A little homeless afternoon delite.