These pictures were taken from a distance through my bedroom window of a woman I've seen for the last several months, a woman who looks Chinese, maybe about 50 or 55.
She rides around on a bike with paper bags hanging from the handle bars and goes through recycling containers and garbage bins (like the big blue one she's rummaging through above) in my apartment complex.
Her face is very weathered. I've seen her several times and she's seen me, but she never looks at me -- I've imagined that's because of some sense of lost pride -- and she always wears a mask.
There doesn't appear to be any embarrassment on her part. She doesn't try to hide what she's doing and is all business as she searches for bottles, cans and anything else she can salvage.
I have sometimes thought I should talk to her, or offer her help, or something, but I don't sense she wants any. Still, I somehow feel drawn to her and curious about her life.
The final picture below is a shot of her (bending down by her bike) and another woman, a resident here, walking by, carrying what very well could be a Christmas gift she plans on giving to someone on Dec. 25.