the crone

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So I was just out on Church Ave. doing my Sunday marketing.  I went into one of the five and dime stores to buy a bunch of padded envelopes to mail my book in, and when I came out I made eye contact with a tiny crone sitting on the bench just outside the store. She had a kind of  black dyed pompadour and huge silver hoop earrings, a leathery face, cloudy eyes, and an interestingly large nose.
Crone:  Hey, you got a pretty face, c’mere, talk to me.
[I approach her]
Crone:  You Jewish?
Me:  Yes.
Crone:  You married?  Got kids?
Me:  My husband left me. No kids.
Crone:  When he leave you?
Me:  Two months ago.
Crone:  C’mere, sit down by me. [ I sit by her… she takes my hand… I notice she has some sort of flyers advertising fortune-telling or astrology in her other hand.]  I need a cup of coffee.
Me:  You want a dollar?
Crone:  A dollar’s not enough.  [I give her three dollars.  What the hell, I think.] Your husband cheating? He with someone else?
Me:  Yeah.
Crone:  He still think about you.  He with someone else but he still think about you.
Me:  I don’t want him back.
Crone:  He do it again and again.  He Jewish?
Me:  No.
Crone:  You give me money for candles, I pray for you tonight, I light candles. Money not for me, it for candles.
Me:  No, that’s OK.  Can I take your picture?
Crone:  No, I don’t like that.  Why you want take my picture?
Me:  Because you’re interesting.
Crone:  Anyway I pray for you tonight.  Be healthy, be happy.
Me:  OK.
[and I go on my way]

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