(This is an old blog from my trip to Europe–I just wanted to sync my blogs, and this one I liked especially well.)
His black hair sprung out from beneath his patchy red baseball cap and was matted with grease to his shoulders. His lower lip jutted out, revealing a row of rotting teeth. His baggy gray shirt hung slack to his knees for it had barely a body to cling to, and his shoulders were more like wire hangers fro, the dry cleaner than organs of flesh and blood. The tongues of his high tops were pulled up past his ankles but the last thing I wanted to look at were his feet, because if I focused on them, I could feel in my own feet the absolute sacrifice that every step cost him. But then again, staring at his face was not an option either because in his dark eyes, I saw in behind them a thousand more darknesses, knowing that every morning for him ushered in one more day of misery. And yet gaping at his wiry body made me hungry with misery and so I had nowhere, absolutely nowhere, to look, and yet my eyes absolutely could NOT look at anything BUT this man. And suddenly and ashamedly I realized I was grasping, no clinging to my purse for fear that by stealing it, he would make me a pauper in a red baseball cap trudging aimlessly and painfully through a park in the middle of France.
I let go of my purse as he slowly past and he didnt lunge for it. He didnt even look at it. He just winced and stayed on his straight course down the path to a fountain in the middle of the park.
I wanted him to take off his shoes and dip his blisters in the fountain to reprieve him if only for a moment from the oppressive pain and heat of shoes. But he didnt. He just looked so immensely grateful for a place to sit.
I hate that society has made me afraid of a man that was just looking for a place to sit.
I blame the slippery handle. I blame the knee-deep layer of sediment in the two-foot deep water. I blame the choppy waves that the multitude of other Pioneer Day celebrators bequeathed to us on Utah Lake. But for all my blame-placement, the fact of the matter is, I just don’t wakeboard.