He stood at the bus stop not far from me, but it was his whistling that grabbed my attention. Whilst other people were impatiently tapping their feet at the delay, he was more than content to just watch the world pass.
His buoyancy, only challenged by that of his hair, spoke of a simpler time; His turned up jeans and low sideburns were yet more proof of this. The book carelessly slung in the back pocket of his jeans didn’t ask for attention, but I noticed it nonetheless. A taste in Hemingway displayed a more sober side than he would have willingly let on.
As I got on my bus, I saw his wasn’t far behind. He mounted with a smile and sparked up conversation with the girl next to him. Her surprise at this masked itself as reluctance; in fact she was pondering the rarity of such an event. Before long, however, her face threw back the same smile that he beheld and the two were deep in conversation.
He was accustomed to a much smaller world.
It is impossible to say the exact moment at which the girl was won over, somewhere among all his small kindnesses; kindnesses that were without any agenda.
With the same lightness that he had alighted, he hopped off the bus. Not without wishing her a good day, of course. She couldn’t deny it was a shame she wouldn’t hear from her curious gentleman ever again, but she left this thought behind as the bus drew steadily on. She went back to her default of looking straight ahead and considering what she saw before her.
His house was a little walk from the bus stop, but he didn’t mind. He absentmindedly wandered in the vague direction, not that he was stalling but nor was he in any rush. The speed with which everyone bustled past him furrowed his brows.
Finally he arrived at his home; that is to say, he opened the door into the house but it wasn’t until Sam greeted him with a light kiss that he knew he was home. Sam had spent his entire day working on his art as usual, concentration rearranging his face into something close to suffering. Placing the Hemingway to one side, he cautiously approached the artist, not wanting to disturb him. He asked what exactly Sam was trying to show with it, with a tender half smile Sam replied:
“Why does it have to be labelled as one thing or another? Not everything fits as neatly into a box as some people might like. It’s not what they expect, but that’s the fun of it.”