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I realize this now, I've grown accustomed to her face peering out the window of that old house on Green Dolphin Street. A craggy and stormy weather-beaten face with a tight-lipped mouth of an unusual red, staring vividly at passing strangers. Time and again, cigarette smoke surrounded her like British fog, but you could still make out the outlines of her dress made from printed flour sacks, polka dots and moonbeams.

All the times I went walkin' by her house of green chimneys, I'd ponder about the unrelenting curiosity in her eyes, which never seemed to fade away.

"The name is Daphne" she told me once, as I passed on my way to take the "A" train.

I stopped and my heart stood still, for all this time I had never heard her speak.

"Don't lose your mind over this, kid, just tryin' to make a bit o' conversation" she said. "Please be kind and sit with me a while."

I turned thowards her, one hand still clutching my corner pocket, and said:

"Well, I was off to work but so what? I could do without work today, truthfully. It’s all right with me. "

Once inside it was warm and cozy, everything smelled of honeysuckle rose and lotus blossom air-freshener. In her small living-room, there were gigantic bookshelves and a caricatured self portrait in three colors hanging on the wall. When I felt them there eyes of hers scrutinizing me, I felt compelled to look back. She wore shiny stockings under her dress and an amusing look on her face.

"I'm no sophisticated lady... All I got's black coffee and wine kid, which one will it be?"

''Wine 's wonderful, but isn't it a bit early ?" and as I said it it was too late - she had taken out a bottle, a corkscrew and a bag of salt peanuts.

"I believe they say the early bird gets the worm, kid!"

"Yup. Alright, okay you win. "

She put a record on and smiled. I had never seen her smile.

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