Yesterday I get off the subway downtown and as I’m climbing the stairs to the street I see a lady, attractive, in her forties or so, leaning over a wall above and watching the people come up the stairs. She’s got short purple hair and black clothing that suggests she works in a vintage clothing or music store. But then I notice she’s hollering things incomprehensible at various people and I think maybe she doesn’t work in a store after all. She’s gesturing with her arms while holding a small, child-sized broom.
I head off down the street to my bank three or four blocks away. When I get there I’m kind of glad for the excuse to wait in line and cool off as the day is close and humid and the sun really hot.
Suddenly, in the door walks the lady with the purple hair, sweeping the way in front of her with her little broom. “Oh!” she purrs as she drapes herself across a counter, “it’s SOoo hot!” She sighs some great dramatic sighs, but none of the people working there seem to notice her.
She then starts to search amongst the brochures and papers on the counter and finds herself a pen. And with more dramatic flourish, she bends over and holds the broom upright and starts to write something on the handle near the tip. There is intention in her pose – she is performing an act for the purpose of being watched. It takes her well over a minute to write on the broom’s tip, but from where I stand the message doesn’t look to cover more than an inch of space.
Then she leaves the broom propped up against the wall and leaves.
I get on with my business and then preoccupied with the few more things I need to accomplish before I go home I leave too, forgetting about the broom. Until I get back to the subway entrance where I originally saw her.
As I wait for the train I wonder what would become of the broom with the purple haired lady’s communiqué. I wonder if she’ll come back to get it. Maybe she was hoping someone would write a message on it in return. Maybe she was offering it as a gift, watching outside and hoping she see someone leave with it. Maybe the message was for me, since I was only person in the place who seemed to notice her. I feel a little regret for not stopping to at least take a picture of the thing.
I'd like to think the message on the little broom reached someone.