I was picking up a prescription from the chemist this morning when a man that i recognised came in. A man in his seventies held the door for the other man who is possibly a similar age.
"You're a gentleman sir! There's not many of us left," said the man whom i recognised.
I know the man because he lived near our old house. The house was on a really steep hill. i would see him regularly pushing his wife, who was in a wheelchair. He pushed her valiantly, in all weathers, up or down the hill, on whatever errand they were running.
One day i was on the street battling to cut the huge hedge at the front of the house. I made way for them to come past, and he found time to empathise with my hedge battle, saying, "It's the growing season isn't it love?"
i still see him around the area where my doctors surgery is. He is no longer pushing his wife.
I wanted to speak to him in the chemist. I paused as i was going to the door, but i couldn't think of what to say. He doesn't know who i am, i couldn't ask after his wife because i knew what the answer would be. What if i cry?
This simple thing, i couldn't do it, just make a bit of polite conversation with a man who indeed was a true gentleman.
I waited to hear his name as he asked for his prescription, and then i left.