03 April 2012

Wet Purple Tennis Shoes

I sat there with soaking wet purple tennis shoes. It was quarter past eight on a stormy Friday morning. 

I sat sideways, waiting for my coffee to cool so I could drink without scalding my tongue. Joe read the news on his phone and I watched the crowd. 

In the heart of the city, inside a bustling McDonalds in the ever busy Union Station, I sat there, watching and waiting. Waiting for my coffee to cool. Waiting for my shoes to dry. Waiting until it was time to go. 

As I watched, I saw him watching too. He stood just outside the entrance, pausing for a moment, taking it all in, observing how everyone else did it. A little more confident, he walked in and stood to the side of the queue. Watching. Reading the menu. Seeing how others stepped up and ordered; where they waited for their food. 

While he watched, I studied him. His weather-worn, wrinkled, middle-aged face. His very full, very long beard. The soft brown hair curling just so under his broad-brimmed black hat. His plain black clothes gave him away as Amish. 

And I wondered. How many times in his life has he eaten in a restaurant? In a McDonalds? What will he order? Will he like it? What does he think?

I watched anxiously, holding my breath, as he set his satchel on the ground behind him while he stepped forward to pick up his food. I could breathe again once I realized no one would take advantage of his naivety and run off with his bag while his back was turned. 

As he made his way to the empty table behind us, there it was; a smile shared. A warm moment of silent friendship between a middle-aged Amish man and a young woman with wet purple tennis shoes.  


Zelde said...

You write beautifully. I could all but smell the food and feel the damp feet.

Anonymous said...

KT,I'm with Zelde, I could feel the hustle and bustle of the station, but also the stillness of those moments. What an amazing moment. Thanks for capturing and sharing it.

Paula said...

This touched my heart. What lovely images you create.

Ginger said...

This is what I love about blogging - a simple observation that gives us a snapshot into your life, your heart and your world.

Your BFTH classmates are proud!

KT Mac said...

Zelde...thank you! Those damp feet were awfully hard to deal with and certainly were a big part of my mindset at the moment.

Karen...thank you! It was just a still moment in the crowd, but those are the moments that make us human, no?

Paula...thank you! It was such a vivid moment for me that even days later, I found I needed to share it.

Ginger...thank you! I didn't realize it was such an insight into me, but looking at it again, it really is....I do spend so much time watching and wondering when I'm in a crowd.

Yogini923 said...

JT, Beautifully written- like a photograph itself. Poetic. ]

Juli said...

KT..what a beautiful post. I was right there with you..soaking shoes, hot coffee and all. Wonderful description of the everything in the moment, including the silent and warm exchange with the Amish gentleman. Beautifully done!

KT Mac said...

Yogini...Thank you! Your kind words mean so much to me.

Juli...Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the beauty of such an extraordinary moment in an otherwise ordinary day.

Clare said...

What a wonderful post title! I just had to read it! Very evocative.

.rae. said...

Love everything about this blog post.

I love how ordinary moments can become so poetic and so detailed. As if I was you, looking straight at this man.

KT Mac said...

Clare...thank you!

Rae...thank you! It really was just a powerful moment in an otherwise ordinary morning.