Niagara Gazette

Columns

April 12, 2013

HAMILTON: Lord, what is in "store" for us blind and crippled?

Niagara Gazette — If we continue to be as we now are, then one has to wonder what the future will bring for us.

At about the same time that I reached the door to enter a certain convenience store, so did a senior citizen who walked with a cane. I opened the door for him, he thanked me and we both encountered another senior therein whom beneath his squinting eyes he wore an angry scowl etched deeply into his wrinkled face. He had just empty-handedly emerged from an aisle and was heading toward the door to leave. A store clerk had followed him from the aisle, but she walked behind the counter.

The two senior men met face-to-face, stopped and stared at each other for a moment, as each waited for the other to step aside. At first, I thought that the two disheveled men knew each other; but they did not, and soon the man with the cane yielded to the other and hobbled about his shopping.

The squinting man remained motionless for a moment or two thereafter. I watched him as he further contorted his face and squinted towards the unobstructed door, which was only about 10 feet away. While not in his way, I stood near him, fearing that he was in some distress and may have needed some physical or financial help. This was not in the best part of town and it appeared that he might have been short of money. As I watched him, he mumbled, not to me, but to the man that had already passed him. He said, “Get the [blank] outta my way.”

I then watched him as he stumbled out of the door and headed off toward the busy sidewalk of the city. Confused by the situation, I asked the clerk, “What’s wrong with him?”

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