Old Man With Grocery Bags

One of my favorite sights to see is that of an old man or woman walking down the street with grocery bags. I can’t explain it, but I love when I see this sight. I see it in New Orleans more than seldom and like the weirdo I am, I stop and stare. Watch them for as long as I can. It’s such a sight to see. Something about it makes me feel connected. Like I know who they are or they know who I am and I think about how small my presence in the world is. I wonder what it is about that image that gets me. But I’ve always loved it.

A couple of days ago I was riding my bike with Monty. The local grocery store Conseco’s is only a few blocks away, so to get a little exercise I ride my bike there and get groceries for the day. When I arrived back at the house I got off my bike and was unleashing Monty when I caught something out of the corner of my eye. There he was. An old, old, old man, a grocery bag dangling at either side, walking with a limp down the sidewalk. I froze. He didn’t look at me, he looked off, like he wasn’t looking at anything in particular. Almost like he didn’t even know where he was going. I stared. Monty stared. I  felt all of the city noise stop, there was stillness as he wobbled by. It gave me that feeling again. Calm, connected. I almost wanted to take his picture but I thought that might be perverted, or worse, make him mad. I watched him until he turned left and looked back at Monty who I felt was thinking “My owner is a creeper.”

Anyway I went in and wrote about that man I saw but I don’t think it’s where I want it yet. Sometimes I feel I could write a whole book about an old man or an old lady carring grocery bags down the street. It’s funny the things that stick with us, inspire us. I’m sure one day I’ll be the old lady, teetering with my bags. A girl can dream.

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4 thoughts on “Old Man With Grocery Bags

  1. This is why they make those little wheelie carts that HOLD grocery bags. If am that old and have to carry my damn groceries, I’m getting a wheelie cart.

    But I’ll be living in France (I hope) and be shopping every day in some cute little charcuterie.

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  2. There is an old, old, old man I see every week as I pull into the parking lot of my grocery store. He is arriving on his…Segway. Eat your heart out.

    Btw, I came across your FB post because someone shared the link on FB. Buttttt…it’s not nearly as funny as the other posts you’ve written ;)

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  3. Funny thing, I have talked with a few friends of mine about the power of watching an old person cross the street. The addition of a grocery bag makes it all the more poignant. On a particularly sensitive day, I once cried the whole drive home after seeing an old man feebly cross directly in front of my car, clutching his grocery bags as if they held pure gold. And another time I wrote a short story about an old couple sitting on a park bench. My point: I think there’s plenty of creative book fodder to be found within your geriatric fascination. ;) (Your poem about it was great, too!) On another note, from one writer to another, just wanted to say I really like your writing style and have found scoping your blog to be both entertaining and inspiring. You are funny, smart and real. Carry on, woman.

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