Old woman in the rain

She sells cigarettes by the sidewalk.

She sells cigarettes by the sidewalk.


I saw her shivering in the rain, crouched under her umbrella. I have stopped smoking but I bought all the Philip Morris cigarettes she had, hoping that would comfort her and make the time she spent in the rain worthwhile.
My clothes are wet, she said, and she couldn’t change because the one supposed to mind the goods she was selling had run away. Seemed like a bad day for her, but she smiled as she told me how bad it was, and let me take her picture. I paid P16 for the cigarettes, which now seems cheap compared to what she told me: that no matter how bad a day may be, it’s still our choice whether or not to smile.

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