The Old Man with Bare Feet

It was a hot and dry afternoon. Sitting at the table, Sam took a sip of hot coffee and looked through the window. He saw people appearing from left and right, walking on the streets, passing each other with blank eyes. It was a view for him, so he’d made a habit of coming to this coffee shop.

He took a final look at the screen of his laptop and closed the lid; He felt ready to give the pitch at the company meeting this afternoon.
He took his first step outside and blended into the crowd, only to stop before the crosswalk. Standing there, waiting for the red light, he started feeling sweaty under his suite. The red light was on. Not falling behind the crowd, he kept walking. Right step, left step, right again; He kept going, never bothering to stop for a second.

He crossed to the other side of the road, and stopped; Something caught his attention. There was a space on the ground avoided by the crowd of walkers, forming a gap in the flow. It was a view. Like a group of fish avoiding a shark, they avoided the old man.

He was around his 60’s. He lay on the ground facing sideways, his head on top of a dusty coat folded like a pillow, and his face covered with a brown hat. Sam thought to himself that the old man does not like the bright sunshine, but he sure likes to take an afternoon nap. Sam wished he had the time. The old man had no blankets either. Seeing how hot the day was, Sam concluded that he had no need for one.

But the thing is, he had no shoes on. He had no socks either, showing only bare feet. Sam tried looking for his shoes, but he couldn’t find it. Sam thought perhaps the old man did not check the weather this morning before leaving his house to take a nap here. He sure did not plan his trip wisely. When he wakes up, how is he to walk on the ground without burning his feet? Sam went closer to him and took a good look at the old man’s feet.

After what felt like five minutes, Sam came back from a Sports-Gear shop nearby, holding a pair of shoes in his hand. He approached the old man and placed the shoes beside him. Sam checked his watch and hurried off to the bus. Through the window, Sam saw the pair of shoes was gone, nowhere to be seen. His face turned red and he felt a rush of anger. Just when he was about to get off of the bus, he heard the sound of the engine; The bus started to move. Feeling pity, Sam took one last look at the old man’s bare feet. Then he took a closer look at his head and noticed something; the pillow got bigger. He saw the new pair of shoes hidden inside the dusty coat.