Monday, March 25, 2019

Cavendish Mall Walker

Nothing in his way
Cote St. Luc, QC
March 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
I've come to this mall a few blocks away from my father-in-law's hospital room to try to get some work done. But in between curious onlookers and really bad Wi-Fi, it's been a struggle. Seriously, folks, is my MacBook Air's screen THAT fascinating?

So while I wait for the little voices in my head to return - and for the weirdo interlopers to disappear - I stare at the mall-walkers in this little shopping mecca-cum-community centre and wonder what their stories are.

Most folks here are elderly - no surprise given the general demographics of this neighborhood. If you're a retiree, you want to live here. Geriatric services on every corner. Incredible civic administration. Pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. I'll reserve comment on errant Toyota Corollas and Ford Crown Victorias for another time.

This man catches my eye. First, not a lot of single men here because, let's face it, biology sucks if you're a guy. Second, he walks slowly, but is so focused on getting to where he needs to go that nothing else seems to matter to him. I haven't seen that look of determination in anyone's eyes in a long while, and it inspires me to remember him above anyone else today.

As he shuffles around the corner and disappears from view, I think about the drive that keeps us going long after the rest of the world has otherwise moved on. I think about the twists of the universe that allow some folks to wander the local mall, while others are stuck on the inside, looking out. If they can look out at all.

Life isn't always comfortable. Or fair. It just is. And that'll have to be enough for now.

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