None of us really understood that things were changing for Florence. She seemed as she always had been.
Teaching cooking walking arguing fuming eating investigating practicing devouring life intrepidly…sallying forth into the world as the force of nature that she was.
The rare cracks were easy to ignore. More often than not they looked like the mishaps and mistakes we all make.
This was the first crack I wanted to ignore.
On the corner of 6th Street and Avenue A. Heading home after teaching a piano student. Between her and the curb a pile of snow dumped high from the recent storm.
Suddenly she couldn't traverse it. Suddenly she didn't know what to do.
Suddenly she was old.
And then suddenly some young men came up behind her, picked her up, carried her over the mound and gently placed her on solid sidewalk before vanishing into the crowd.
Telling me this on the phone after, she laughed and laughed and laughed about it because the joy of that sudden flight erased the sudden reality she could not longer climb her own mountains.