I must stop this description now, in the midst, because she has just passed by me again and taken up a seat just one chair beyond my own outside of Coffee Ethic Cafe. She is muttering something now, not English, and pointing- she has stopped. She sits peaceful again.
Continuing- her clothes. Utterly pedestrian. A white turtleneck, with a blue sweatshirt on top, even though it's summer in Los Angeles and nearly 80, maybe 90 degrees, and I'm sweating in a mini dress and tights.
She mutters something again.
She looks at me. I look at her. She speaks in plain English this time, "Tell that camera to go away. I'm not from Malibu..." and then more that I sadly cannot understand.
She is wearing make-up and quite a bit, too. White glowing powder around her eyes that stands out in stark contrast to her cocoa-molasses skin. Her lips are red with smeared and melted lipstick that extends well beyond the thin line of her lips.
Her hair, grey, black and curly, is pulled, best as it can be, into a ponytail- though only now do I notice that there seems to be no tie holding it up- it stands on its own, as if by some magical force.
At last, proving she may perhaps be human after-all, she takes her sweatshirt off revealing her long black skirt to, in fact, be a dress.
She goes through receipts and old papers. A homeless man next to us a few seats down chats up some girls and then turns to the old woman. "My friends," he explains.
The old woman responds with something again about the camera's and not being from here and Malibu.
She pushes up her sleeves and I am now certain she feels the heat.
Suddenly I am aware of a voice, low and accented, a figure catches in the upper peripheral of my vision. I look up. A young Asian man wearing a blue shirt with UCLA printed in yellow letters on it stands before me holding an army of white books.
I don't catch all of it, but from what I do, he's out promoting a book written by another, older, Asian man. It's about "family values" and... youth? I don't know. The seven leaders of the world- are there only seven? For the whole world? Well, they've apparently all endorsed it! He shows me the back as proof and then offers me the book.
"Is it free?" I ask. I never turn down a free book. I'm something of a collector. I used to find it a sin to own anything you didn't stand by, but books are very useful for several things other than reading. And sometimes in reading, not agreeing with them can be more fun. At any rate, it's always an enlightening experience. Much like traveling.
He tells me it's for donation only and something about orphanages.
I don't have any cash with me. I think he might give me one anyway because he says something about "promotion," but instead he just thanks me for my time, wishes me a happy weekend and continues on down the sidewalk.
The old woman shares a look with me and again speaks, though it is indistinguishable.
She gets up now, and walks away.
My mind wanders. I would like to help the orphans.
Imagine if the book was full of blank pages!
I wonder why my friend hasn't texted me back yet... perhaps he has. I'll check.
She was no angel. She was simply lost, like the rest of us, maybe more so.
And now traffic is picking up. Someone honks their horn in protest and yells, "Wake up!"
The sun is melting me and I begin to notice a splendor of glitter on my hands- more than usual. Ever since I was a small child I have been aware of the constant presence of glitter in the skin of my hands. I used to think it meant that I was destined to shine in greatness. Now, I think there must be something in the water.
Angels are crazies.
Destiny is often misunderstood.
And lots of cars have squeaky breaks.