The Little Things

by Tom Swift

As you approach during the morning walk you see the man on his stoop. Your impression registers in an instant. He is wearing a ragged T-shirt. His hair looks hasn’t been washed this week, the strands look like electricity. It is unusual to be dirty this early. The takes a drag from his cigarette. You steer your dog to the far-side sidewalk. You keep your distance. You can be so wrong about people sometimes.

“That looks like a happy dog,” the man says. He smiles. He holds the smile.

You are glad he couldn’t see in your heart right back there. You want him to see inside it just now.

“Thank you for saying so, sir. You have a good day.”

“You have yourself a good day, too.”