I Can Too…
I always have an impulse to hug her every time I visit. Her arms are often outstretched as though she is carrying an oversized watermelon, and her roundness has a high hugability factor to it, despite her always wearing the same dust-coated black abaya and black turban-wrapped scarf.
And just like her clothes, her smile never changes, although her life-long struggles have created folds of skin on her thick hands, ageing them faster than the apparent youthfulness of her face, her smile is reassuring, and tells me with great consistency that though times are often hard, it is usually all right in the end.
As she coaxes me to pick from her juicy sun-blessed tomatoes and aubergines, or her sweet carrots or peppers, the lady with the vegetable stall 2 mins away from my flat never fails to leave me with the prickly feeling that I too, can get through it all. I can too.
– The Londoner