Thursday, April 16, 2009

Man in red hat walking.

Every day you walk
(while I can barely Air Climb)
You struggle each step,
and seem like the kindest man
as you keep smiling, despite.

On my constitutional this evening, I passed him.
He was going the same way through the neighborhood, as always with his cloth grocery bags dangling from his metal crutches.

I've seen him a million times.
Walking to the grocery store, back up the sizable steep hill to wherever he lives with his parcels.
Even though you can tell he sometimes has a hard time of it, there he is. In his red hat, walking.

I once worked a part time job on his walking route, and he passed as I was wiping the window.
We made eye contact, and he smiled a heartbreakingly sweet smile, and I smiled and waved, and then he was out of eye shot.

I'd seen him before, of course, and he always reminded me a little of Mario from "Super Mario Brothers."

Tonight was the first time our walking paths intertwined.

"Good evening," I said as I passed, as I say to everyone I pass.
"Good evening," he responded, smiling.

I asked him how he was and he answered "Good," and asked how I was.

I had so many things I wanted to say to him, to ask him.
What his name was. Where he lives so I could know just how far he walks. About his life. What he buys at the grocery store. What his day-to-day operations are.

Instead, I replied, "Good," with a smile of my own, and our paths uncrossed.

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