I met Colette on a cold spring day last year as I was taking a walk on a busy Manhattan avenue. She was inexplicably parked in her wheelchair on the sidewalk, apparently taking in the sights, with a small boy by her side, who turned out to be her grandson. For a fraction of a second I thought she was a homeless person, especially since she looked so wild with her hot pink lipstick liberally applied well past the contours of her lips, but I quickly realized this wasn’t the case. We talked for a long time about life and death and metaphysics and I told her I felt like I’d met an earth angel. She seemed pleased by this, and not terribly surprised.
Illustration by Smiler