Another Installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC.
I saw Peggy sitting near one of the non-working fountains on the West side of the street in front of Union Station in Washington, DC. She was wrapped in a bed sheet and was trying to wash the clothes she had been wearing by pouring bottled water over them. She had apparently scavenged partially full water bottles from the trash. She reeked of urine and other bodily odors. Peggy was not panhandling. I think she is far too mentally ill for that. She was conversant with me as long as I was willing to believe that she was not homeless and was on her way to the Hyatt Hotel down the street for breakfast. The rest of Peggy’s story is just a jumble of disconnected thinking. So it’s impossible to determine the veracity of any part of it. Peggy was amenable to a photograph. I gave her a few dollars, a fresh bottle of water and a few granola bars which seemed to me like spitting into a hurricane given her dire situation. To say that Peggy is one of The Invisible Ones doesn’t begin to capture her marginalized existence.