A walk anywhere during winter will discover single, lost gloves, sometimes impaled upon iron railing spikes, more often lying forlorn and trampled on pavements, in gutters. There are so many on these streets, torn black leather, rainbow-striped wool, a tiny Hello Kittty mitten, all bruised with mud, all longing to be reunited with their long gone twin. I wonder what happened that they now lie lost and hopeless in the rain. They look so sad, so lifeless.
I will take a piece of white chalk on my walk tomorrow. It will join the smooth pebble in my pocket and the tiny silver hoop earring (itself an orphaned twin), my constant walking companions, and when I see my next lost glove I will dig the chalk from my coat pocket and with fingers red from the cold and white from the chalk, I’ll crouch down and trace a white line carefully around the fallen thing, across the wrist, up the thumb, down and up and down and up just so. Then I’ll walk on, leaving the glove with its own chalk outline to show that someone noticed its passing and will be back with the forensics kit. One day.
I was going to write a long, descriptive passage about this thing that happened to me on the bus but I’m not going to. I just wanted to tell you that I’m feeling really happy right now and it’s all because a little boy - he was about six years old, something like that, real wee, though I don’t really ‘get’ age and always guess wrong - sat next to me on the top deck of the bus at the front though his dad sat a few rows back, and turned to me and smiled, his whole face glowing at me from underneath his dark hair, held my gaze and smiled this enormous, bright smile for what felt like ages, and I smiled back and my whole chest filled up with warmth his smile was just that great, and I wanted to scoop him up and hug him for making me feel that way, and then he tried to put his feet up on the sill in front like I had my feet up, but he couldn’t, so he scooted his bum forward and lay there with his little trainers up next to my red sandals and he looked at me again and grinned at me again and oh my heart and there we sat, bumping along side by side, watching the world go by, until he got off with his dad about twenty minutes later.
That’s all really. It was just this tiny thing, this tiny, wonderful thing, it just lit me up inside and out and made me feel so happy and I’ve felt that same way all day. That’s all.