Thanks to a coffee laden system, I did a quick run to the grocery store this evening, on a very energetic note, for pm hours. During check out, I noticed a man in line with what seemed like a Steve Harveyesque suit. Now, that I think about it, he was rather a hard to miss fellow, as he seemed to be engaged in a very loud argument with the check out clerk, which I later came to discover was playful banter! No, folks-they were not flirting.
The first thing that popped into mind, was him being a community preacher/leader. He had some Martin Luther King of the people vibe. I was thoroughly convinced he was shopping for his church, which run a soup kitchen for the homeless. [You can thank my scatter brain, for that later!] On a serious note, I do not know why that was what came first to mind!
Nyhoo, I proceeded outside to wait for the bus, and what do you know, preacher man comes right outside happily whistling and looking ever festive. All he needed was a beard and he would be a black Santa Clause. Father Christmas seemed to know the driver as they were all chummy chummy with each other, and he didn’t even pay. He asked to be dropped off at some point, because of this, that and the other, that I didn’t quite hear, during my eavesdrop session. Needless to say, the place he seemed to have had an appointment at in the evening was closed for business. I forgot to mention, he had on a paper badge identifying him as XX, Contractor. Oh, so he built houses I thought to myself! Cool, and I kept it moving.
What unfolded next in a revelation, left me so humbled, that I can to ya’ll with certainty that this trip to the grocery store was blessing in disguise! The coffee was used of the Lord, let’s just say that-for I never go to the grocery store in the late p.m. Nyhoo, he got buddy buddy with a fellow passenger, another friend of the driver’s that did not pay, either [I'm not judging, just saying as per my observation] and asked whether there was an event in town because of the sheer number of people on the streets! Turned out, they were all wearing sneakers and it was not his type of crowd anyways, as he was a shoe shiner, who took immense pride in what he has been doing for the past 25 plus years! He even had with him, a shoe shining stand /toolkit box that housed all his tools of trade that I had initially mistaken as a church piggy bank-seriously!
This man stood tall and proud, as he recounted tales of famous men he had shined shoes for, and his favorite being the driver-who had been his customer for 25 years, and always, without fail gave him $25, every week to shine his shoes! Now, I understood where the chuminess they had with each other stemmed from. Theirs was a friendship solid as a rock! The level of respect, I observed was not only admirable, but kinda “awwww”! As it were, shoe shining has been his daily bread, and was the trade that kept him off the streets. He was eternally grateful for the fact that, shoe shining was and still is his saving grace, as otherwise he would be addicted to vices[read drugs and alcohol].
Folks just be grateful for the little you have in life! Shoe shining as I learnt is a hard trade, as yes, there are lots of people with shoes, but not many are willing to shell out money to get them shined! In short, it’s a trade for somebody with a hustler’s mentality! From what I gathered, he made pretty good money that is enough to sustain his lifestyle and then some! In whatever you do in life, always have the right spirit and attitude! By the way, after he got off the bus, he was busy soliciting people at the bus station for a shoe shine!! Loves his attitude.
[Any grammar, and or, spelling error will be corrected at a later date, thanks for your ever loving kindness and understanding of this issue. Extremely lazy to go through it, AND I was feeling blogalicious, so why not, right?]
Jazz and JK-enjoy, mamasitas!