Anne the Bag Lady Every afternoon you can count on seeing Anne right at one o’clock at the park, pushing her grocery cart full of her treasures. A cart overflowing with heavy-duty black garbage bags as well as an array of duffels and suitcases. The black garbage bag an ambiguous container the contents within cannot be seen or known. As she pushes her cart, the constant rattling of a wheel competes with the clanging of aluminum cans that she collects hanging in a bag on the side of her cart.
Anne roceeds to her bench, constantly aware of everyone around her, but never making eye contact. She arranges herself at her bench under the old oak tree, not far from the playground. She places her cart so it is never out of her line of vision. Her eyes are constantly moving looking, watching – darting likes that of a small animal sensing danger. Anne begins to eat her regular sandwich, ham and cheese on wheat that she gets from Father Tim at the local Catholic Church.
As she eats her sandwich, you otice how grimy her hands are – hands she had Just used digging in garbage cans for her precious aluminum. Today Anne is wearing her best dirt caked Jacket, once a bright Kerry green, now a faded sickly green, with a tear on the sleeve. Her mousy blonde wig that once may have been styled in an attractive shoulder length bob; now a tangled, grimy mess. Do you know how hard it is to get a wig to keep its shape when you carry it around in a plastic bag?
Anne has put on her newest shoes, old tan olored work shoes one without laces. Her dress looked like the old flowered snap front cotton house coats, my grandmother used to wear around the house. Hers is worn, dirty and the color is faded beyond all recognition, peeking out from under the hem of her dress is an old black slip, the lace at the bottom torn. Anne is wearing stockings that go to her knees held up by some kind of yarn or string. Over her stockings she is wearing socks that are used and worn the color again impossible to know.
Anne always sits alone, a solitary fgure, watching, looking, wary. She very rarely speaks to anyone except for maybe Father Tim; even then short, cryptic remarks. She is rather small in stature, not more than five feet, two or three, bent and the shoulders from age. Anne does not look fragile or tiny maybe old and rigid, but never fragile. Anne has been a part of this community for as long as can be remembered, almost a historical monument. She is a part of the community that most do not notice, but seems to miss when is not there.