One of Maureen’s favorite regulars working the Saturday morning women’s shelter brunch was Shirley, who was 90 and a freight train.
The first day they met, Maureen had just recently gotten her first tattoo and an industrial, finally looking (or so she believed) the part of the cool and cultured,
out-of-sync activist she had felt she had been all her life.
She was wearing too-tight blue rubber gloves on her sweaty hands, sorting the good muffins from the moldy muffins, as a very small, wiry old woman limped towards her,
stopping only a good foot away to stare.
Maureen had dared to be the first to look Shirley in the eye and ask a question. “Can I help you?”
“Is your name Jamaica?” Shirley asked, raspy and somewhat grave.
Maureen’s brow furrowed, looking down at her shirt—a stained and ragged Jamaica Plain t-shirt, borrowed from Mark, borrowed from Collins, borrowed from a Bostonian cousin’s friend’s boyfriend,
or something. “No?”
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