There’s no sign yet of sunrise as Mrs. P. finishes brewing a pot of coffee.
She has a detailed routine that must never run late.
“You have to pour the water in slowly so that the grounds get fully saturated,” she says, pointing to the machine. “I think it’s on the principle of the French press.”
There are books on the shelves above her; puzzles below. A large sculpture sits palm on cheek while Mrs. P. brews pot after pot of coffee. She’s deliberate with every step in the process, and equally articulate in narrating it. By 7 a.m., she’ll have a complete coffee and tea station ready for the women waiting in line outside of Rachel’s Women’s Center in downtown San Diego.
Like those who will soon file through the doors, Mrs. P. is homeless.
She spends the nights on the sidewalk directly across F Street from Rachel’s. It takes two trips and two signal cycles to bring her belongings.