I’m walking around a residential area of Chicago. The weather is decent this Easter morning; a lot of people are out walking.
A woman is walking in front of me. She’s about 200 yards ahead of me. Farther up the sidewalk, a woman and her dog are headed toward us. The dog is average in size. Nothing menacing. The woman is on the larger size. She is overweight, larger than the average American. I despise the word “fat” and all its negative connotations, but she’s a big girl.
The smaller girl in front of me walks into the street to avoid the larger woman and the dog. When past the pair she gets back on the sidewalk. The detour takes effort, jumping a puddle from last night’s storm, etc. There isn’t really a reason to make this detour; the dog is just doing its business and the sidewalk is plenty wide enough for all parties involved in the pass. Yet, the girl detours.
Now, thinking about this. Maybe the girl is afraid of the dog. That is always a possibility and I shouldn’t be quick to jump to a negative conclusion.
As she makes her way back to the sidewalk, the woman with the dog looks back at her with an incredibly sad face. In a split second my heart breaks. The dog is just doing its business and shows contentment. But the dog’s owner shows this split second of sadness. As I pass the two of them on the sidewalk I smile and say “good morning”.
She looks down.