January 12, 2002
Amazing and sad article about

Amazing and sad article about folklore amongst homeless children in Miami.

When seven-year-old Maria is asked about the Blue Lady, she
pauses. "When grownups talk about her, I think she get all upset,"
Maria slowly replies. She considers a gamble, then takes a chance and
leans forward, beaming: "She's a magic lady, nice and pretty and
smart! She live in the ocean and comes just to kids."

She first appeared to Maria at the deserted Freedom Tower in downtown
Miami, which Maria calls "the pink haunted house." A fierce
storm was pounding Miami that night. Other homeless people who had
broken in milled about the building's interior, illuminated only by
lightning. Her father was drunk. Her mother tried to stop him from
eating the family's last food: a box of saltines. "He kept
hitting her and the crazy people started laughing. When I try to help
her, he hit me here" -- Maria points to her forehead. "I
tried to sleep so my head and stomach would stop hurting, but they
kept hurting." A blast of wind and rain shattered a
window. "I was so scared. I pray out loud: Please, God, don't
punish me no more!"

(via Eclogues) Posted by Bill Stilwell at January 12, 2002 12:00 AM
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