So, this morning as the Autumn chill decided it was time to make its presence felt, I bundled up in my coat and scarf and made to bolt out my door in time to catch the 8:25am bus into the city centre.
Almost as soon as I stepped out my front door; I stepped back inside to grab my Mega Brella (Ay! Ay! Ay! A-A! Sorry I always do that even in my mind) 😀 But yes…it was a cold rain as is the norm here in Northern Ireland and being chilly and wet is not a good combination in the best of times.
I opened my umbrella, (Ay! Ay! Ay! A-A!) :D, tucked my ear buds in my ear with my ipod set on shuffle and tried my best to hurry the two blocks down to my stop without slipping on sodden leaves. The leaves are quite pretty when they’re all golden brown or red and crowning the trees in full autumnal glory. However, when they’re strewn on the street and sidewalks, all slippery and sodden they can be treacherous.
I made it to the bus stop in time (first to queue as well! Yay me!)
I got on the bus but wasn’t able to secure one of the seats I normally sit in. (This is why I like the 8:15am bus) So I grabbed the nearest seat available and made a note that as soon as a preferred seat was free, I’d move. Within a few seconds of sitting down and jamming to my mental disco, I saw a pair of gentleman’s shoes on my far left. Between the jostling of standing and seated passengers, my eyes managed to see these shoes and immediately the song playing in my ears faded to a faint buzz.
I was fascinated by those shoes. They were black leather, with what appeared to be a tiny bit of patent leather at the top. The shoes were not highly fancy…they were just nice. There were six eyelets per shoe and a tidy, short set of black laces. There were the kind of shoes you grew up seeing maybe your father or grandfather wear when they were decked out and going to work or a special event. Gentleman shoes. That’s what came to mind…”Old School” gentleman shoes and they were immaculate.
I think that’s what caught my attention. The shoes were clean, neat and buffed to the Gods honey! Those shoes said: “The wearer of these shoes has pride and takes pride in their appearance”. What made the shoes stand out for me this morning was the fact that it was raining, cold and the streets and sidewalks are riddled with puddle traps; so…how this man was able to make it into the bus this morning with these shoes looking like they were cleaned and polished by a Marine gave me pause.
Of course, I had to follow the shoes up to see the man who wore them.
The shoes belonged to an old gentleman who appeared to be somewhere between maybe 70 or 75 years old. He wore gray seamed trousers. The seams were so sharp, I knew spray starch was involved in the ironing process. (I know about sharp seams from my school days as my uniform had them and I dreaded ironing day).
I couldn’t see much of his coat but his sparse silver-white hair was combed over to the side and he seemed intent on reading something I couldn’t view.
I watched this gentleman surreptitiously until my bus stopped and I wondered where he he was off to (as he was definitely pension-aged), I wondered what sort of work he used to do and what sort of young man he used to be.
Just from his shoes, I could imagine so many things and I weaved stories throughout my journey about this gentleman.
I’m planning to catch the 8:25am bus in the near future. I’d love to see this gentleman again. I’ll make a point to sit outside of my comfort zone, if I could just observe him close-up (non-stalker like of course) and weave more tales about him.
Or maybe I may just strike up a conversation with him and see if the stories I imagine his shoes telling match up to the ones he may have to share. 🙂
This morning has reminded me to be more aware. It’s easy to be plugged-in in today’s world and become so absorbed in your own world that you miss little moments like this everyday.