Fractal #38: The Gentleman in Harvard Square

He sat in the cold on a dilapidated wheelchair, leaning heavily on his one good but crooked arm. As we walked by he caught Joan’s eye with an urgency that seemed beyond the standard panhandler’s flat appeal. From the way his mouth hung lopsided and slightly open I assumed the disability that twisted him had also garbled his speech. Whatever he was trying to say to Joan, though, made her stop in front of him. He pointed to an empty container of soup and plastic spoon on the sidewalk beside his chair, and then fluttered both hands towards a trash can. Joan picked up his empty bowl and tossed it in the can then turned back to him. He gestured for her to come back, come closer. She glanced at me, then approached. He gently took her gloved hand in his, and pressed his lips to the back of her hand.