I have long loved Bocelli, and I'm a soft touch for beards, so I was watching him out of the corner of my eye as I got in line in front of a young mom and her daughter, who was just about Abigail's age. The little girl wanted a carton of chocolate milk, but was too shy to come near me to get one. I smiled at her and moved aside, she smiled back and came forward bashfully, retrieved her milk, and retreated to her mommy's side.
I was still smiling when I turned around, and he caught my eye - he was smiling, too, glancing from me to the little girl, then back again to me. He dropped his gaze to the floor and continued to wait patiently in line, and a moment later he smiled again - a different smile - and I followed his gaze and realized he was looking at my shoes - my "power shoes" - the ones that have random ladies stopping me on the street asking where I bought my shoes, and are they comfortable (they are).
These shoes apparently are fascinating to guys - most of my guy friends have commented on them, everything from "Wow, those are some shoes!" to "How do you walk in them?" Several weeks ago, a guyfriend came up to me and said "I saw YOUR SHOES in a music video!!!" :)
I placed my order and followed the curve of the counter around to the wall, where I could watch the back of the Italian's head while awaiting my drink. His hair - which had probably been washed that morning - had dried in alternating stiff and fluffy patches. I wondered if he had added a styling product halfheartedly - it would account for the patches - but I had to admit that unless a stranger were surreptitiously stalking him, as I was, no one was likely to notice. Besides that, his hair added an easygoing vibe to his appearance - suave enough to make an effort at styling his hair, but manly enough not to devote any real time to it, especially on a morning when his main activity was sitting in a coffeehouse, thinking.
In a perfect world, we might have struck up a conversation - he might have commented on those shoes, or notice my vintage owl pendant (another piece guaranteed to get me stopped on the street for fashion inquiries). I might have had the time to linger over my macchiato, and might have snagged the table next to him. Any man who can spend a morning lost in his own thoughts is worth knowing, in my experience.
But the world isn't perfect, so a moment later when the barista called my drink, I claimed it with a smile, walking towards the door in my powerful shoes, and slipped out into the beautiful, imperfect world.