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  • Writer's pictureAshlyn

The Woman On the Hudson River

There is a boardwalk on the Hudson River that Zaí and I love to walk on when we are down in Jersey.

This awesome little building is planted on a dock that sits above the water. There are two glass doors and multiple windows on every side of the building with the shades usually down. When they are, the sunlight bounces off the cotton inside and sits between the outside of the world and the reflection of the window within. The warmth it gives off the glass window is so bright and forgiving on my morbid beautiful mind. It clears me and becomes my own therapeutic time. I am surprised, truly, that nobody is ever inside. This is kind of building you buy and move to a town for, because of the aesthetic and the beauty. The kind of building you buy without thinking. Maybe they have and it draws in people like me.

Zaí and I come to this building on this dock during our visits to sit out and look across the city and the river. We've watched sunsets and sunrises from here. The air is quiet, and nobody bothers you. It's really good space and I love all its energy. You can see the Stark Tower from here, at this little building that we come here to and I pretend like it's my water-dock massage office and my Feng Shui consulting room. Sometimes we peek into the open glass doors to see all of the beautiful and unique space not being used and I whisper into the windows "one day I'm going to have a building just like you."

This past Sunday afternoon, we were doing just that, and as we were walking away from the building an older woman complimented on how "breathtaking" Zaí's beauty was and how she "couldn't help to notice her eyes."

MY HEART! It was melting. Was my hearing correct? I had to act cool, and I was so blown away that someone came and greeted us for wholesome reasons.

I smile and I said in return, "You and me both Ma'am. She gets me everyday with those ears." We small talked about Zaí's eyes and little facial expressions. She noticed she is part human, and how great she looks for 9 years old. This woman shared with me she is turning 94! Wow! She was so upbeat and not a step out of shape. Her alignment was strong and her face was so bright! She had a glow about her, it was so endearing and wonderful. Her eyes were bright and her wrinkles showed many years of laughter and smiles. Her lipstick was a beautiful red tone, darker than cherry and lighter than maroon. It wasn't dry or expired, it looked freshly applied for the afternoon. I was taking mental notes on how to become a woman like this as I was sharing with her little funny highlights from Zaí's recent surgery. he commented on her strength.

We talked about aging and how wonderful it can be.

"Can I ask you, what is your secret?"

"I never stop moving." She stopped and stared deeply into me. A moment passed.

"I love that. We love moving, we just finished dancing in the kitchen upstairs. Do you walk here everyday?"

"I never miss a day. You look like a dancer! I was just telling myself, I bet she dances."

"Really??" Again, what kind of day was I having??? Thank you God. Thank you so much.

"I was a professional dancer for many years. Out West! A little on the East."

"Where! How beautiful. I said to myself, she is a dancer! A star!"

"Thank you!" I was beaming and slowly exploding inside, "I always wanted to be flapper, like in the 20's! The stage has always been one of my favorite places."

And then she got a big smile and said, "I was born in 1928," and my eyes lit up like nebulas in the sky. She was born in the Great Depression and has lived through every monumental moment since then, in this country. I could've stayed all day long in conversation. I wanted to hear so many wonderful stories, I wanted her to know all the little parts of me! Her age and her personality, were just the kind I suspect I would have been friends with if I had just been born during the right time.

When sharing with her I am 30 years old, she replied, "I have dresses older than you!"

I thought for sure, I have met my better half in this woman, I assume. I was in awe of her shine and her grace and her big beautiful personality, so warm like the window panes.

I feel like we had so much in common and it becomes one of those Craigslist Missed Connections from not getting the persons information. This all took place in front of that little building, after awing at its beauty for thirty minutes. She was there as if she had spent minutes watching us. Captivated by the simplicity in which I delight... I was delighted that I delighted her. That we both were in total quiet awe of simplicity of joy in this world. Her watching me shine, me watching the building bones shine back and against with the sun, the ducks, the dock, the snow nearby and glistens of the river run.

We shared awe over some of the same musicians we love from early eras. She told me so many quick personal and amazing stories. I told her I've written about characters like her in my creative writing classes. Imaging what the 30's and 40's and 60's were like.

Hers were these real lived experiences, of independence and female rights.

Her name is Deloris and when she was 16 years old she had a radio show in Jersey called "Between the Teens" and talked about important teenager issues about independence, collective issues, and advise to share among peers. Teens could call in and talk to others and hear. During her time on the radio, as she grew older and more into a career, she said she had interviewed my very own heart hunk Frank Sinatra!

She saw my eyes dive in, and we shared a deep and tender heartbeat that felt like a sonic boom.

As soon as we departed, my heart grew wide. I've had countless of these moments with soul strangers, who come directly to my side. The ones you meet once and always remember. Like so many of my past, that become stories of my future. They think probably I'll never remember, but how could I forget? The angels come to me in moments and completely shape my Being.

Deloris, wherever you are out there, you've captured me and imprinted in my heart forever. Happy 94th birthday 🎈 if I see you on the boardwalk again,

I'm taking you dancing 💃🏽💃🏼♥️

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