upon making my way to one of the best hawker-ish restaurants in PJ, i came to a realization that the old man is gone. the same – odd though not in a scary way, scruffy, but always with a smile on his face – old man. he was no where in sight. i was getting ready to duck my way away from him. although i feel sympathy for the old man, i am not an expert in declining a person’s request for some loose change, especially if the person is as old as my grandparents if not older. the old man who never fails to carry what seemed like a soiled umbrella doesn’t seem threatening in any way, it is just the way we see things i suppose. the first few encounters, i obliged. i produced several coins that i have in my pant’s pocket. but as i frequent this eatery, it eventually became a routine. the old man will quietly and skillfully make his way towards my car – before i could even secure the car alarm, he was standing right behind me with his right hand readily stretched out. after a while, sympathy had turned into borderline nuisance. i didn’t enjoy my trips to the hawker-ish restaurant as much as before. i took precaution steps before and after leaving my car, making sure that i hurry and locked my self in the car before the old man catches up on me. before he could flash a sad smile, baring his missing teeth and extend his hand to me. before he comes close to me, so close that i fear he would use his badgered but surely trusted umbrella and take a swing at me (at this point, i know the story is a little far fetched). before i start to feel guilty for not doing enough, for thinking the worst of this old man.
and now he is gone. no more looking behind my shoulders to see whether there is an old man lurking around. the old man with the umbrella and a sad smile on his face.