I remember the dry cleaners – the white sandstone wall, the clean curb that would be, by morning, splattered with life remains – a woman who would now be my age.

I listen to the news. Another person at the edge of life: blown from the seat of a car, crushed into a tree by a truck’s force, pierced by bullets or knives like spears. And I live longer than that someone who lives down the street – around the corner – behind my house. Alive to buy bagels, have shoes repaired, drink a cup of decaf on Saturday night.




Flo Gelo was born in Brooklyn, where she lived until her early teens. She’s published numerous articles in professional literature about illness, death and dying. This story is one in a series about her life on Madison Street.