Kay’s Light

Hey Siri. Search for Dunkin nearby… One block past South Broad Street on Locust. Opening at 5:30 in 3 minutes, 6 minute minute walk. One cigarette. Chilly, but I have gloves.

First guy passed, arguing with himself, loudly, his face twisted up in some kind of deep pain.

Wherever steam rose through the sidewalk, a heap of human being lay to stay warm.

A few medical students rode by on bicycles in their scrubs. An apparent local rode by on his antique bike, holding a Giant grocery bag in one hand.

In the brighter lights of an intersection by some historical building, I checked my wallet to see if I had any cash in case I was asked. I liked the faux gas lamp’s faux warmth outside a church dwarfed by buildings on three sides…

“Your gigantic-est coffee please.” “What size?” Sheesh… “What’s the most gigantic size you have?” squinting at the menu, just now locating the undersized S, M, and L. But it wasn’t L.

She answered pleasantly, “Extra large… Cream and sugar?” Yes please. As I waited, the guy behind me in a long, dark raincoat and blinding white sneakers didn’t seem to want to talk, so I checked out all the Christmas decorations and hummed with the carol.

Three blocks, halfway back, she was strolling toward me, carrying a flatscreen TV in a clear plastic bag, talking out loud to no one. Crossing the alley toward me, “Can you spare a smoke, sweetie?”

“Sure… Need a light?”

“I got one. Thanks. Most people just walk by…”

“What’s your name?”

She was already three strides away, looked halfway back over her shoulder, “Kay.”

Kay lit up my dark morning. She doesn’t need a light. She’s got one. Me too. You too.


Neil D. 2022-12-02.
From the City of Brotherly Love

Published by Neil Durso

Just another mid-lifer sharing the journey...

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