One of my favorite sights to see is that of an old man or woman walking down the street with grocery bags. I can’t explain it, but I love when I see this sight. I see it in New Orleans more than seldom and like the weirdo I am, I stop and stare. Watch them for as long as I can. It’s such a sight to see. Something about it makes me feel connected. Like I know who they are or they know who I am and I think about how small my presence in the world is. I wonder what it is about that image that gets me. But I’ve always loved it.
A couple of days ago I was riding my bike with Monty. The local grocery store Conseco’s is only a few blocks away, so to get a little exercise I ride my bike there and get groceries for the day. When I arrived back at the house I got off my bike and was unleashing Monty when I caught something out of the corner of my eye. There he was. An old, old, old man, a grocery bag dangling at either side, walking with a limp down the sidewalk. I froze. He didn’t look at me, he looked off, like he wasn’t looking at anything in particular. Almost like he didn’t even know where he was going. I stared. Monty stared. I felt all of the city noise stop, there was stillness as he wobbled by. It gave me that feeling again. Calm, connected. I almost wanted to take his picture but I thought that might be perverted, or worse, make him mad. I watched him until he turned left and looked back at Monty who I felt was thinking “My owner is a creeper.”
Anyway I went in and wrote about that man I saw but I don’t think it’s where I want it yet. Sometimes I feel I could write a whole book about an old man or an old lady carring grocery bags down the street. It’s funny the things that stick with us, inspire us. I’m sure one day I’ll be the old lady, teetering with my bags. A girl can dream.