Detain that bag lady!

Got a lead on bur oak acorns at a specific corner in an affluent neighborhood. I needed those acorns for the seedy kiddie class, along with sweet gum prickly stars and pecans. So there I was wandering in the park with a plastic bag and no poopy canine to clean up after.

There's a handsome specimen of a bur oak tree in a lawn, so I walk up the middle of the street to find nuts by the curb and on the public sidewalk. A man comes out of a nearby house to walk his labradoodle doggy, but instead watches me. He takes a smart phone photo of this nutcase autumn leafy homeless bag lady loitering and jaywalking in his neighborhood.

No, I am not sleeping in my old Buick. I have jobs. I don't mutter much, at least not audibly, and only in English. Smell? I pass the sniff test. Shoes? Functional, not stylish.

If the resident calls the police to report me this could get weird. "You gotta whole lotta 'splaining to do." I've never been frisked, except by airport security. "Frisky" is a word for teaching preschoolers about squirrels. I just want to teach kids about the bounty of fall and the fascinating shapes of seeds.

Being just a bit outside the comfort zone seems scary. How does it feel trying to get by, to stay under the radar as a daily strategy?

© 2013-2015 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

seana graham said...


It's probably good for all of us to feel a little on the fringe sometimes, as long as we survive it, just so it's easier to understand people who live it on a daily basis.