The Old Lady at the Grocery Store

Written by Leo N.

The grocery store near my house is 24-hours.

I often go there late at night to grab last minute supplies. There’s always a homeless old lady who spends the night in the store’s lobby. She’s tucked away so as to not disturb anyone. I see her often and I never say anything to her. Tonight I did.

“Good morning,” I slowly approached her.

She looked at me worried. I have the look of authority and often authority comes with reasons to fear it.

“Do you need anything?” I asked, hoping to disarm myself.

“Nothing, thank you.” She smiled. “It was just nice to be acknowledged I exist.” Her smile was warm.

On my way out, after pointlessly wandering around for “something else,” I patiently waited in line, as a customer, a cashier and someone from night crew were fervently discussing how undercover cops will fine you if you check your phone while stopped at an intersection. Did you know? The cops will dress like bums so you don't recognize them. I offered no feedback.

I wished the old woman a good night when I walked past her again.