This woman sells used clothes on a street near campus. She’s part of the neighborhood and though she clearly is needy, there’s nothing pathetic about her. She tends to her business and somehow survives. She’s got drive and dignity.
Last week I did give her a bag full of old clothes to add to her inventory. As an outsider, I don’t feel I should ask her story. It seems insensitive to ask, even if I could, for her to give a stranger an account of how she wound up here, scraping by. I do wonder though.