There she was. Sitting on the corner where we first met. Watching as I crossed 1st Avenue, rushing to work because, surprise surprise, I was running late.
"Hey there, need a ride?" And then it appeared, that welcoming smile that I don't think anyone could say no to appeared.
Without hesitation, I said "Lets go!" grabbed the handles to the wheel chair and we were off.
"How was your birthday?" I asked. She turned to me, surprised I knew it was recently her birthday. "Lovely! I'm 101!"
"That's excellent, how do you feel?"
"Like I'm 101" We both got a kick out of that, probably more me than her.
"Do you have a family?" She asked as we turned the corner. This seems to be an important question for her considering she's asked me this before and proceeded to ask me again shortly after this.
"Well, I'm not married or have kids but my siblings are and they have kids so yes, I have a growing family."
At this point, the way I see it is I could answer this particular question differently every time and she'll never know. This time though, I decided to answer truthfully. I just can't make any promises about the next time.
"You're the youngest, aren't you?" How in the hell did she know this?
"Yes, I'm the youngest of 4" responding proudly.
"I have a son in Las Vegas and one grandson" she too spoke proudly. After gushing about her family and asking if I ate breakfast yet we got down to the important questions.
"How do you get to that corner every morning? Who takes you?" My concern was apparent.
"People walking by, like you" she explained as if it was that easy. Her simplicity is blowing my mind. She's a hitchhiker in the UES on a one block radius and I worry about how she gets around.
"You hale them down like cabs, huh?"
As we make our way closer to her place, she throws up her hand a smile to the people passing by and in return, she gets the same reaction. Are these people fellow drivers like myself? Probably.
"What's your name?" She asked.
"Katie, what's yours?" I knew this answer but it just felt as though this was our official introduction so I went with it.
"Francis, pleasure to meet you Katie!"
Little does she know, the pleasure is all mine.
I hope this becomes a part of my daily commute, late for work or not.