This is Joyce

I met Joyce as I was walking home on 65th street near Amsterdam Avenue.  I was behind her as she was pushing her shopping cart.  I could tell even before I met her that she was flamboyant.  She was wearing a low-cut blouse with thin straps and sporting a big red hat with a large bow.  And although there was no forecast of rain, nor any clouds in the sky, she carried an umbrella.  When I stopped her to talk, she was happy to do so.

She had been a movie actress.  She began to rummage through her shopping cart and took out a photo album.  She showed me photos of herself as a much younger woman in a bathing suit.  I asked if I would recognize any of the names of the movies she was in, she couldn't recall any.


I asked if she was married.  She told me that she had been married, but her husband died many years ago.  He was a movie producer and they met while working in Hollywood.  When I asked her age, she said: "the doctors tell me that I am 86 years old."

Joyce pointed out that we were standing in front of the building in which she lived.  I noticed her shopping cart had no packages, yet she was returning home.  I asked her why she had the shopping cart.  She said she always takes it with her when she goes out for a walk.  With a family album?

As we were talking, one of her neighbors came out of her building a middle-aged woman- who attempted to fix Joyce's strap that had slipped down off her shoulder.  Joyce immediately pushed it back down saying she liked it that way.

Slightly odd, very happy and continues getting old and getting out.

© Herb Bardavid. Proudly created with

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