waiting for the light to change


Now that the weather was nice, and the sidewalks clear of snow, he was back — as sure as dandelions on suburban lawns. He was a regular — not that he ever bought anything, but he was there every Saturday morning, wheeling his shopping cart into the liquor store and starting his routine.

right on schedule
the old-timer’s
bag of cans

The store owners didn’t bother him — after all, he picked up dozens of bottles and cans littered along the streets and parking lots, and at 5 cents a piece it seemed well worth someone else’s effort to tidy up around the village. He would step aside patiently if a paying customer came in with a six-pack or two of empties, collecting his receipt and waiting for the next opportunity to cash in. As it is, he was an early riser, and he was often in and out before any other customers came in to buy booze on a Saturday morning.

When I saw him waiting to cross the street, I came to a stop and motioned him to go ahead. He pointed at the red light.

waiting for the light to change
an old man’s
shopping cart

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