It’s around 10pm, we’re almost home, waiting for the light to cross the road near our flat. A tiny old gent in a navy trench coat and matching navy sun hat says something to me. I say “Pardon?” and step closer, he repeats. I still don’t understand a word. I lean in even closer and he asks me if he can hold my hand as he crosses the road.
“Of course.” I say, and we stand holding hands in the dark, waiting for the light to change. His hand is cold and damp, his skin is soft and loose. As we wait, his shaking slows. He explains that he has trouble with the slanting curbs. We cross at a snail’s pace, barely making the light.
We part, and he heads up the other road with his cane for company. My daughter slips her strong, small hand into mine as we continue on our way.