Today, when I saw him again I thought, " I must at least greet him, since acknowledgement is the least I can do". As I got closer to him, he turned around and saw I was coming and immediately turned his back to me. When I reached him, I had to turn around to look at him and I said, "How's it going?" He replied with a smile, "Pretty good, how about you?" "Good!", I replied.
I chuckled to myself as a passed him, realizing that even though this man looked like he was grumpy and anti-social, he obviously liked being outdoors and enjoyed the warm sun and the scent of the falling leaves. His reply told me you can't judge a book by its cover.
You know, even though I'm still young(ish) and strong now, someday I may be in his shoes and I hope I can still get outside into the warm sun and enjoy life like he does.
P.S. I must add this note. The above note was posted in 2013. It is now 2017. Tom and I eventually became good friends. I found out that we had a love of photography in common. He always carried a small camera with him and told me he was a "figure photographer". This meant he specialized in taking nude photos of female models. Not porn, but the kind of poses you would find in an art magazine or book in black and white format. He told me also that he used to own a gallery in town and through that and his photography, became familiar with many local photographers, and he in turn, became familiar to them.
My friendship with Tom lasted three years. He passed away last year (2016). He had a serious heart disease, and that's why he always had to carry an oxygen tank everywhere he went. He was living in a care center across the street from the park where I met him (pictured above). I always think of him every time I walk through the park. I miss him.