“Excuse me? Is anyone there? Could you help me cross the road, please?”
She was standing on the corner of the street, her frame tiny next to the red post box. I looked around behind me. I was the only one nearest to her. She had dark sunglasses taking over half her face. She was blind.
“Of course!” I couldn’t get to her fast enough. She latched onto my arm.
“Thanks, dear. There’s just a lot of traffic around, you know, I couldn’t do it on my own.”
“It’s honestly no problem at all,” I said, her tiny arm curled in mine. We waited, cars zooming by, feeling like I had so much responsibility all of a sudden; nothing else mattered but making sure this woman got across the road safely. What was I doing, worrying about money, people, boys, life –
“Normally I just put out my stick like this and the cars stop.” She poked her grey and black sensory stick out into the void in front of her. A taxi slowed down to let us cross.
“Very handy,” I said, impressed. “Would you like me to take you anywhere in particular?”
“Just across the road, dear. That’s all I needed to do.”
I passed her again yesterday, walking towards Portobello Road. It’s funny to think we’ve met before but she wasn’t able to see me, and I didn’t stop to say something.
Friday, 18 December 2015