He is stooped over a display of ladies’ shoes. At first I only notice his hunch and his slightly crablike shuffle as he looks over the merchandise. His large polarized glasses are adjusting back to clear from being out in the sun. He has an impressive moustache. I wonder why he’d be interested in womens’ footwear, but then I see he has a little piece of paper. His wife or someone has obviously sent him on an errand.
He stares furiously from shoes to paper, as if daring them to be anything other than the Ortho-matic Series 200 or whatever. The shoes on the table he is keeping such an eagle eye on support my guess that he’s there on an errand for his wife. They are all comfortable, arch-supported, easy to get into-and-out-of styles.
I see him later on his way to the bus stop. He can’t move fast. His legs don’t work that well. But he is clutching a bag with a shoebox in it. he has triumphed against Ladies’ Footwear!
I wonder who he is, if his wife is cooking him up a nice dinner at home. He’s old, wrinkled, stooped, no longer conventionally attractive in the least. But he’s buying shoes for someone who loves him, and someone he loves.
I think about the nature of humanity. Not many of us are really beautiful in the societally mandated way, like models or actors, glossy thoroughbreds tossing their locks for the paparazzi. But all of us, even the ugly ones, the smelly ones, the old ones, we all deserve to love and be loved.