Man on the street

On days when the mind is calmer, your observation is very keen. Yesterday was one such day, a clear and sunny day – something quite rare in the UK. I was at the red lights in my car, waiting for the stream of people exiting the train station and crossing the street.

I am sure he wanted to be as unobtrusive as possible, but he caught my eye. He was dressed in a well fitting black suit, light stripes typical of English suits, a pair of well-cared Oxfords on his feet, a perfectly knotted (double) maroon tie and well combed hair with a touch of gel. He had a backpack over his left shoulder, slung carelessly like youngsters of the time. He waited for the pedestrian lights to turn green, for the beep- beep to start, and then crossed quickly. His gait was hurried and he looked completely & totally assured, walking by the side of the road, briskly to his place of work. He crossed the war memorial, stopped to tie his shoelaces and continued on. He dodged others around nimbly as he trudged along.

What gave the game away was the thin cane in his hand and his gaze, which was directed a bit higher than the heads of people and traffic around him. The cane scanned the space ahead in rapid arcs but the eyes were expressionless. Need I say any more? He was blind.

That was not what made me think, I have seen so many of assured people living through their handicaps. But I was wondering how he handled the details, how he knotted his tie perfectly, how he got just the right buff on his shoes, how he combed his hair to that perfect finish, how he got the suit fit & look right and how he chose colours. This guy was commendable indeed! I wondered for a while about our man on the street, and his life.

The lights changed to green, I went my way and the man on the street his…to continue life in our respective worlds