Half-full

A sandwich wrapped in paper.

She stood balancing with one foot in the street with her other, mostly sensible, pump on the curb. The door on her silver Honda was swung wide, but she wasn’t in a hurry.

She was pulling the two halves of a sandwich apart. The sandwich maker clearly didn’t cut it clean through. It was wrapped well, and the paper was protecting the meal from the cold wind.

It’s the second day of Spring, but Winter is not quite ready to let go.

The man was there in his usual spot on the bench. He was in the neon orange snow pants and neon orange jacket. He doesn’t wear this gear every day and the pants only on especially cold days. Usually he just wears a hat, but today his cragged face–one of a not old man but a man who has lived old–was framed by the orange wimple of the hood pulled tight, framing around his face.

He looked up at the woman fighting with the sandwich, his head slightly tilted back with a beatific smile. It’s unusual for him to engage like this. Sometimes he interacts with people imagined, sometimes real. It’s not unlikely that his language is punctuated with hard words spoken sharply. Not today, though. Today he’s wearing a smile of a sweet child happy with his people.

Maybe the woman is his daughter, or his sister or a friend from before. Maybe she is just a kind stranger, and he is reflecting that kindness. Perhaps she was splitting that sandwich and they were going to eat together.

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