The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Shoeless Wonder

In the park, I sit with a friend on a blanket. We have taken off our shoes, made ourselves comfortable, catching up on what we’ve done while we were apart. I love these sorts of reunions with people I haven’t seen in 6 months, in well over a year. We fall back into a happy set of stories and we laugh.

A little girl in a red striped top is crossing the park behind her parents and sister. She spies us and smiles. She stops by our blanket. Her parents passed earlier, speaking a language I didn’t recognize, but I tell the little girl, “Hello!” She doesn’t reply. She’s holding her hands together in front of her waist and staring at our discarded shoes. The shoes are quite unremarkable–blue deck shoes and black loafers, simple, worn from a summer of roaming. She gazes from the shoes and proceed to stare straight into our faces, one at a time, perhaps matching the person with the abandoned pair. Her mother calls to her, but the girl has found something very funny in this shoeless two on a blanket. She giggles to herself, like a grown-up delighting in a moment of fond memory. Finally, she relents as her mother calls again. I wave goodbye but she has already moved on.

–Vienna, Austria
Hofburg, Wien, Vienna travel

7 comments on “Shoeless Wonder

  1. joannerambling
    August 26, 2014

    Oh this was bloody great

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      August 26, 2014

      Joanne, thank you!!

      A friend said, “You find the most random little things!” It’s true! I’m glad some people enjoy the little moments I find. πŸ™‚

  2. M-R
    August 26, 2014

    We can never really understand the minds of children, eh, Paige ? – they’re full of indescribably subjective thoughts. πŸ™‚

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      August 27, 2014

      πŸ™‚ I know they are a mystery to me, though I liked that she had her own perspective and grinned over it. I do that sort of thing all the time when walking down the street. Now I realize I might be worrying people passing by.

  3. ChristineR
    December 8, 2014

    “she had her own perspective and grinned over it”
    You know Paige, your comment column is just as good as your posts. This rummage of mine will have to end now, and I’m sorry for all the comments – I couldn’t help myself. πŸ™‚

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      December 9, 2014

      Thank you, Christine!! It was such a delight to come to the page this morning and see your comments. I think I was in need of your visit in a big way. I truly appreciate it. πŸ™‚

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