1963-08-18 - Soup Kitchen
Summary: Ororo and Trish volunteer at a soup kitchen in Harlem
Related: None
Theme Song: None
trish storm 

It's a thursday like any other: people are hungry. Some don't smell all that good. Most smell fine. Some are a bit rude. Most are grateful or, at the very worst, indifferent. Or talking to themselves. There's a depressing number of children, and most of the workers make a point to ensure the children have a healthy portion of food: who knows when the children will eat again. Hopefully tomorrow. But maybe not. Before serving, Ororo could be briefly seen cooking, taking an avid interest in trying to add some extra flavor to the food that is made on a strict budget: she showed up with a number of fresh spices and a couple bags of produce. Nothing to make a staple, but enough to add here or there and bring dishes to life. But then she disappeared for service.

And, as the place is nearly empty, with only a couple stragglers left, Ororo returns. She's dressed in a pair of simple black jeans and a fitted v-neck black t-shirt, with a leather jacket— also black— over it. Her boots click as she walks: all in all she doesn't look wanting, but her style isn't exactly warm. Then again, with the long braid of pure white hair that hangs down from her head and currently rests over her shoulder before her, she doesn't really have to do anything to stand out in most crowds. After brushing a hand upon her jeans, she moves to start gathering up dishes of those who weren't considerate enough to carry them back. Most did.


Dressed in a more staid outfit than normal, a long brown skirt, a white long-sleeved white blouse, and simple, black heeled shoes, Trish got out to the soup kitchen to help. Not only does it take her mind off other matters which, at the moment, she can do nothing about, she also enjoys doing good and helping the needy by serving them a meal. Even if she can only make it out to soup kitchens every once in a while. She figures, however, that she's had such a fortunate life, it's only right that she helps those less fortunate than she.

In the back now, with her sleeves rolled up, her usually manicured hands are ready to get a little dirty with cleaning. She offers a little smile to Storm. "It was a good meal, wasn't it?" In what way, she doesn't quite say.


Depositing the dishes she gathered, Ororo regards Trish for a moment, and then she smiles, though the expression is slight. When she speaks her voice is accented, but it might be hard to place: at the very least there's some British influence ther that can probably be placed. "Do you think that they thought so? The food, when I first volunteered here, was sufficient, but too much came from cans, too much sat quiet so long from the earth and sky." She hesitates, and adds, "I do not criticize the kitchen: they do what they can and have only the resources they have, and so many hungry. Still, I hope it was good. There are so many people with so much and so little all in the greatest city in the world. Neighbors who hunger by neighbors who feast."

She sighs softly, but gives a light shrug, reaching out to grab the water and begin to spray off the dishes initially, "I am Ororo. I have only been coming here a short time, but do not believe we have met?"


Nodding lightly, Trish smiles sympathetically. "It certainly isn't a feast." She sighs softly, glancing around the kitchen. "It's…I can only imagine the difficulty that comes with attempting to run a place like this. With money tight as it is." Her heels clack against the floor as she walks closer to Storm. "But I think, overall, the people who eat here are thankful. It's not much, but it's more than some of them have had all day. It's why these places are so important."

She straightens up a little, clearing her throat and smiling wider. "I'm Trish. It's a pleasure to meet you…Orowrow? Ororo?" She hopes she's gotten the name right. "I'm afraid I can't make it here to help quite as often as I'd like. It's been a little while since I was last here."


Ororo repeats her name once more with a gentle note to her voice, not seeming to mind the difficulty, but giving a slight correction to the pronounciation, "In Kenya, in swahili, it means soft, delicate." She can't help but to laugh then, and the sound has a certain ferocity to it: its not dangerous, just… a hint of wild. She is not a tame woman. "It is ill suited to me, I think, but it is the name my mother chose me."

She inclines her head then, continuing to spray wash the initial rinse of the dishes, "It is enough that you see a need to do, and do as you see yourself needing to: more is between you and Ngai." A heartbeast of a pause, "God." Then she shakes her head, "In Kenya, I spent most of the last three years helping to see that my people were fed and safe. Now that I find myself in this steel and brick jungle,… I do what I can, when I can. But… I did not have to deal with anything like what the people who run this place have to deal with, so my imagination fails me as well, Trish. Within one block there are enough people to number multiple villages, all of which should have farms to sustain them, but they do not. Oh, I understand agriculture and the modern economy, I suppose. I've simply… never been part of its like."


Repeating the name a few times, to make sure she finally has it, Trish smiles widely. "OH! You're from Africa!" She exclaims, as if that explains everything. She chuckles at the explanation of the woman's name, and how it doesn't suit her. "Sometimes we suit our names, sometimes we have to be ourselves and make our names suit us instead…if that makes sense." She's perfectly aware that it could just sound like nonsense.

Taking the rinsed off dishes and sorting them for a thorough washing, she ndos along to the other woman's words. "I can only imagine how different it is here, compared to Kenya." She tries to empathize. "Me, I grew up here in this city. It is certainly a monument to what we as humans can achieve. But it is times like these, in places like these, that bring us a stark reminder of how much further we still have to go."


"In a manner of speaking, yes. I am from Africa." Ororo agrees with a graceful nod of her head, "But in truth, I was born here, in this city, to a man from this city, and a mother he married when his work brought him to Kenya. But… his work later took him to Cairo, and there they both died when I was but a cloud on the horizon, so I never knew New York. It is… difficult, at times."

There's a slight frown, and a very soft rumble is heard in the sky above as thunder briefly rolls. But surely that has nothing at all to do with this woman here cleaning dishes. "I like that." She agrees with a smile, warmer then, "That we make our names suit us instead. It makes a very beautiful kind of sense, Trish."

"And I can only imagine what it is to have grown up here and accept it as normal: we are all the product of the path we've walked. But consider, our two paths, so very different, have brought us two women— so different— here, to this place, now. So the question is, I think, how different are we really?"


"Oh! Oh…" There's a brief twinkle in Trish's eyes at the meantion of Ororo being born here, but that quickly changes at the mention of the demise of her parents. "Oh, Ororo. I'm so very sorry to hear about your parents." She's stopped sorting the plates for a moment, looking upon the woman with sympathy. "I can't imagine what it's like to have both parents die." She shakes her head sadly.

She glances toward the windows, taking a deep breath in and letting it out slowly. "Sounds like there may be a summer storm on the horizon." She makes mention of the rumbling thunder. She turns back to Ororo and smiles. "I'm glad you think so. Names are only but a part of our more grand existance, really." She says as she starts to sort and stack dishes once more. "I suppose our paths have been quite different, haven't they? But…you're quite right. We're both here. We've both been drawn to help."

She pauses for a moment, a look of concentration and thought come fall across her face. "There's an American writer…" She speaks up again. "His name is John Steinbeck. In a recent book of his, he wrote 'A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.'" She looks over to Ororo and smiles. "Our journeys, whatever struggles have been involved, took us to where we needed to go in order to bring us here, now. I find it to be an interesting thought."


A hand with the grace of the wind in every movement lifts after Trish speaks her sympathies, gentle but firm the hand seeks to hold it at bay, "It was so very long ago, I barely remember them. But, thank you. I did not speak of this to illict sympathy, but instead to say… I have been an outsider since I was a five year old girl. The whole world has been alien to me since then. I simply endure it."

Then Ororo looks over to the window as well, "I think it will pass. A breeze, a rain so light that it is but the kiss of Ngai, and nothing else. Do not worry. There is no fury in the sky today." But she nods her head with a serene acceptance, "The important thing is not what happens out there, but here, where the people have need. We do what we can."

There is a certain thoughtful silence as she considers the other woman's thoughts then, and then a nod, finishing with the rinsing of the dishes and moving over to help load them into the washer machines, "This Mr. Steinbeck seems a wise man. We are all our journies. We are a path wandering wilderness, sometimes of desert, sometimes of forest, sometimes of steel and brick.." She gestures in that graceful way of hers to the wall, indicating the city, "But wilderness. And we will find the order and peace we find. The question of need, though… I once believed in nothing, then I believed in a man, and then I believed in the priestess, then her God, and then myself, and now I do not know."

"To speak of… 'needed'… to speak of… 'bringing us here'… does this not suppose intent? Will? Purpose? Is our path through the wilderness a path to a destination, or do we find our own destination?"


"The whole world has been alien…" Trish repeats, murmuring the words quietly. "I suppose there would be no point in worrying, regardless. Whatever the whether outside chooses to be, it will be." She nods in agreement to the woman's words. "Yes, I do believe you're correct. What we do here, with those in need, is very important. More important than what is happening outside at the moment."

She gives the other woman a little smile. "I've often thought of Steinbeck as somewhat of a wise man. He seems to be an astute observer of the human condition. He seems to be able to capture the emotions and…and the trials and tribulations of man as portrayed by average, every day people." She shrugs. "Perhaps I misspoke in saying 'needed'. Maybe we, ourselves, are the destination that we're constantly trying to find? Or perhaps the 'destination' is not what's important, but rather, in the end, it's the journey we take." She furrows her brow. "Perhaps there is no ultimate destination, and the journey is all there is. That, however, begs many more questions."


"I do not know if it is more important to what is going on outside, by any objective measure… but it is important for me, more, then what goes on outside, because I can put my hands into it and act." Ororo nods her head firmly at that, lifting a hand to lightly flick to her all-white braid and shift it over her back: some water had splashed on it. "That is enough. The world is … the world. There are things difficult and things at ease. Things I understand. Things I do not. I can only do what I can. So I do. So we do."

She listens for a time, quiet and hands moving with an easy grace to set each item and place into its place, and when finally the industrial cleaning machine is full, she pushes it closed. "I think questions on 'ultimate destinations' are left for when we meet with Father. Until then, until the very end, until we are laid bare and open before Him, we can not truly look at our path and where we were and where we have come, and only on that looking, can we judge our passage."

Grave as those words are, she smiles, and looks up to Trish with warmth on her features, "But that simply means we should not worry so many steps ahead, when what is written in our path si what we do here and now." There's a slight hesitation before she adds, "And not to speak of myself as a saint, I do not always choose in the here-and-now what is likely most pleasing to Ngai."


"Yes." Trish nods firmly. "I think you're probably right. No use in questioning where we're meant to be going. Not here, not now. It could cloud our judgement and prevent us from seeing where we are, yes? From seeing what's important, right in front of our eyes?" Perhaps this is why she's taken so keenly to philosophy. It's conversations like this, and the questions that they beg to ask, and the answers that are so rarely clear. It makes her think, which she likes.

"Believe me, Ororo, I'm no saint either." She can't help but chuckle ever so slightly. "But I think that as long as our intentions are, ultimately, good, that's what really matters." Of course, good intentions don't mean a thing when bad things still happen, but Trish is preferring to look on the bright side at the moment.


"Ah, but the question si, what is important? To each in our hearts, in our minds, and in our gut, we feel a different answer." Ororo pulls her hand up and regards the simple watch at her hand, frowning slightly, "I am not so certain if intent enough is how our path should be judged, but, I do admit, it is not a bad way to look upon ones path. There are far worse. For myself?" Ororo shrugs slightly, reaching for a towel and drying off her hands in a way that seems both elegant and delicate at once, despite her surroudings. "I stand at a crossroads and neither path ahead is marked, so I linger and make do, seeking a sign. It was good meeting you, Trish, and good to speak. I have a commitment soon, however, so must bid you good eve."


"That is true. So, when we feel ourselves being given different answers, which do we choose? Do we choose our minds? Our gut? Our heart? How do we know which one has the best answer for each scenario?" Trish frowns, thinking on this question. "You could be quite right about intent. Perhaps it's not enough." A slow breath in, a slow breath out. "It was really good meet you as well, Ororo." She says after a moment. "I hope the path ahead of you becomes more clear, so you know which road to take." With a little smile, she adds, "And perhaps our paths will cross again someday as well." She gives the woman a nod. "Of course. Good evening."

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