Today I took my camera with me when I went downtown for lunch, which is actually a common occurrence, but today was a little different. I ran into Eleanor.

She was sitting at a bus stop with about seven or eight bags laying around her. I stopped and said hi, as I usually do when I see someone who would be cool to photograph. Plus she kind of reminded me of my great grandmother.

I stopped, said, "Hi!" She responded, with "Hi! How are you today?" At first I didn't understand what she had said, because her tongue seemed a bit large for her mouth, and she couldn't get words out properly, or at least how I'm used to hearing them. I responded "I'm great!" and we dove into conversation.

She said it was nice to see such a happy young person strolling around town, and then noticed my camera. She asked what kind it was, and what sort of film it took. I took the time to explain it to her, and told her it was digital, which she didn't seem to understand, and kept asking questions about it, until she got her fill of information about the camera.

I then ask if there is anything I can get, her and if she is hungry. Apparently she had already eaten an hour earlier, but only had enough money to get water with her meal instead of a Diet Coke. Which she seemed frustrated about. I offered to get one, and walked across the street to a deli and bought her the biggest one I could.

I took her the Diet Coke, expecting that to be the end of our brief encounter.

She then proceeded to ask my name, which she said sounded familiar. She'd seen the movie I was named after when she was a small child she says. Back when she used to live in upstate New York.

I asked why she was in Knoxville and she responded, "Well, I don't really know. Been here for four years, and that's really been four years too long."

We talked about how she didn't really like it here, and how a drunk driver had hit her sitting on a similar bench in another part of town about two years ago. She had an injured knee from that accident, so that's why she wasn't walking.

I kept asking about her life and she was very willing to talk about it. About the time she was in art school, and desired to be a painter, "Just like that Da Vinci guy," she said. How she grew up in New York and hated the snow, so when she was old enough, she left for Florida, but then decided it was too hot there. So she packed everything she owned up, sold it all, and moved to Jamaica. She told all about the people there, and all about her travels and everywhere she'd been.

Interesting day I'd say. :D

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