Sitting on bench overlooking ocean at Bluff Park, a woman walked by. Well, lots of men, women, various ages walked or rode bikes by me. Like some of them she had a dog; nice one, perhaps a white lab or off-white color. I heard her before I saw her; thought she said something to me. But, no, she must be shouting at the dog.
I put her in my mental: weird box. Lots of weird people in Long Beach.
She walked by, still muttering, stopped a ways away at a railing, perhaps admiring the glittering water, same as I had done ever few pages of my book. Then she came back my way, asking me: "Miss do you have a cell phone? Can you call a taxi for me?"
Um, sure. She had on sunglasses. When the call was answered (by machine, that is) I hesitated, but offered her the phone. Was I always suspicious of strangers; my fault if she took the phone, running, but I felt I could catch her. Not thinking about potential physical altercation.
She declined. I asked if taxis allowed dogs; she said "A service dog." The conversation continued as I waited for a human being to answer the call. I am guessing Carla is homeless, new to Long Beach via Santa Barber. The cab company wanted a street address; cross roads not acceptable. She was not sure if the house along the other side of Ocean Blvd. was 1309. She yelled to ask a man walking on our side of the road; he confirmed the number.
I wondered about it later; if she could see that far she could not be blind or methinks, not even legally blind. She told the service dog to bow, when she was leaving. He (or she) spread front legs, then bowed head. Cute.
Later, as I was leaving to walk up Broadway to catch bus, Carla was sitting on a retaining wall on the opposite side of Ocean. Service dog was lying in the shade, napping. I was surprised she was still there; she said "they come quick." She asked if I would call again.
I did. I guess they recorded my phone number; machine told me "Your cab has not been scheduled yet." And blah, blah, blah. Hope she did not have to wait much longer. She was nice; offered to let me share her taxi for a ride home; offered me a couple of dollars for use of phone. I declined.