There was nothing graceful or fluid about his movements. He was barely able to shuffle one foot in front of the other. He moved awkwardly and slowly.
But he moved. Everyday… he moved.
Around and around the block where we live. His back so bent his nose was parallel to his torso and his eyes never glanced upward. His shoes were tied on with pieces of string and he always wore his winter coat despite the summer heat.
Cars tooted him, people crossed the road to avoid him, dogs chased him barking their agitation.
He was part of my landscape. Whether I saw him in the mornings driving to kinder or in the afternoons walking to the supermarket, I always saw him. I liked his consistency and his determination. I liked seeing him. When I first ran into him I would say hello and try and talk to him about the weather; but he didn’t want to talk, he just wanted to walk.
I have come to realise that what is innate in him was different to what is innate in me. Despite our shared humanity, we are so inherently different that there is little common ground between us. Even, perhaps, that what makes me human is not the same as what makes him as equally human.
I miss him when I don’t see him.
I don’t even know his name.