Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Missing Miriam

Every Sunday afternoon, returning from Chinatown, I pass through the southwest entrance of Tompkins Square Park and there, always and reliably, seated at the edge of the first row of benches, often alone but often accompanied by Phil Van Aver, another long-time resident from around the corner, would be Miriam Friedlander, every Sunday afternoon. She was slight and a bit frail but seemed happy. I'd join them for a while, shooting the breeze about politics in the present and the past, on which she always had much to say and much worth listening to. And always radical, surprisingly radical.

Her seat is now unclaimed though not unoccupied. Each week another face appears there, young or old, no doubt unaware whose seat it was, or that it was anyone's, or that someone passing by might expect to see anyone there but themselves. As if she'd never been there at all.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

I remember the bench and I remember Miriam too--she was the best. She is not forgotten.