Thunder is crashing outside, which may mean a break in the 100+ degree weather we've had in Chicago over the past week (with a few 90°exceptions). The heat brought with it a vision I haven't been able to escape from.
Most of our street people, savvy survivors that they are, have been taking full advantage of the roasting temperature to wheedle some extra "spare change" from wilted tourists. But yesterday I passed one woman who wasn't playing the game. She wasn't on a well-trafficked corner. She didn't even have a paper cup to shake. She just sat in the shade of an office building, dressed in layer upon layer of colorless clothing, one hand on a wire cart overflowing what I presume were her most treasured possessions. She was an older woman, someone I had not seen downtown before, and her face was a picture of sorrow and resignation.
I still wish I had had something, above all a bottle of ice water, to give her, just to make sure she lasted the day.