he had barely joined the ranks
as a teenager
when he walked into his favorite skater store
strolling along, passing shirts, pants, and boards
heading straight to the shoe arena
where he browsed, walked back and forth, inspecting various styles
until he made his choice.
so, he grabbed the single shoe off the wall display
and sat and waited for someone to help him.
hey, man, what can i help you with?, a young guy asked.
in response he casually answered
can i get these in a size 11?
not realizing the impact that question would have on an older guy sitting nearby
the one who jerked his head in the young boy’s direction, observing his big feet.
then, he looked down at his own feet
and quietly, so very quietly, asked for his shoe choice in a pint size