5:34 this evening

This afternoon on my way home, I noticed that a crowd had gathered at the entrance to my housing estate, where an old woman lay on the ground, her right ankle propped on her left knee as if she were relaxing on the beach. Her clothes were baggy, but not dirty as if she had just decided to lay down and take a rest. She wore one of the plastic gloves that restaurants provide for eating goat ribs or pig feet. She held a hand-rolled cigarette and was explaining that she wasn’t sick and in fact had never been sick. Occasionally she puffed on the cigarette. Two police officers stood near her, their hands clasped behind their backs, gazing away from her. Our estate guard chatted with several of the  regulars who hung out in the garden — all wondered where she had come from since she did not live here. As a heavy set man left the scene, he called out to his friend, “There’s actually nothing to see.” No one knew who she was, nor did they know how to call for someone to come for her since she didn’t have a cellphone.

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