I can remember checking the temperature on the thermometer just outside the kitchen window in the mornings before school— was it a jacket day or a shorts day or a sweater-over-a-tee-shirt day (so that running around on the playground was feasible but the chilly classroom couldn’t win)? Now it seems I do the same thing, only from the comfort of being warm under the blankets whilst checking weather.com and Swackett on my phone.
This morning as I was walking through downtown on my way to work, there was a guy about 30 feet in front of me also making his way through the streets. He had a quickened gait, not of someone late or hurried, but cold. It seems his long-sleeved shirt wasn’t enough for the brisk 48-degree Georgia morning chill. He had his hands stuffed deep into his front pockets and was wearing these shoes: dark brown bucks with a electric sole. His stride was long and deliberate and with every step I would see a flash of the bright blue from the bottoms of his feet.
I wondered who he was; where he was going. I wondered if he was meeting someone for breakfast or headed to work himself. I wondered if he checked the weather before he left… making the decision to brave the cold in order to enjoy a jacket-less walk home later in the warm afternoon. Of if he made no habit of this, simply walking blindly out into the wilderness, armed with nothing but the seasonal knowledge that usually, October in Georgia is Not That Cold.
I wondered what it would be like to know a man like that… who was either too stubborn to wear a coat or so hopelessly optimistic about the afternoon sunlight baking the earth that he didn’t need one. I wondered what it would be like to love a man a like that… to be able to check the weather for him and tell him it is cold outside and insist, despite his stubbornness or optimism, that he should wear a coat.
Eventually he turned the corner ahead of me where I continued straight, losing sight of him and his electric soles. I looked down at my own feet on the street at my bucks with the hot pink sole and wondered when there would be a blue pair to match.