And, as Allister passed him, he leaned his torso over and into a garbage can. He came back up with a newspaper and a quarter of a sandwich emerging from its tin foil like a pearl escaping from an oyster shell. The old man shuffle-walked two feet and handed the quarter sandwich to a waiting friend, another senior citizen who looked much like Allister's or my or your or someone we know's grandfather.
And Allister would never have pegged them as homeless. He was not sure, even when telling me the story, if they actually were. They seemed just like two grandfathers canoodling. They were clean and smiling and hanging out in the sunshine with all the passersby. It was odd. But, so sweet, too.
The first grandfather kept the paper to read while his friend enjoyed the pearl sandwich.
And, as Allister walked past, he had this thought, "That's what I want to be when I grow up."