Down the street ahead of me a man in blue hooded sweatshirt, blue sweatpants and red knit cap walks with a Pit Bull dog in my direction. The man is short, weathered and scrawny, no, scrappy would be a better descriptor. His thin upper lip curls down at the corners of his mouth, accented by a closely trimmed mustache. He walks haltingly. Weakness in his left leg causes him to list, resulting in compensatory bodily gyrations. The left leg of his sweat pants is pulled up to the knee. It is bitter cold. How is it comfortable to expose a leg that way? I ask myself.
As we pass, I notice a long scar on his bare calf and wonder if it is the reason for the exposure. I briefly consider how coincidental relationships in space and time are often mistaken as proximate causes.
Mr. Scrappy clutches the waistband of his sweatpants in his left hand to keep them from falling down. His right hand holds the dog’s leash. The arrangement seems precarious.
The dog is a veritable Brad Pitt of Pit Bull dogdom, young, confident and handsome. He moves with muscular grace, following his nose along the sidewalk, in stark contrast to Mr. Scrappy who has clearly seen a dog fight or two. If it weren’t for his junkyard dog appearance, it would be hard to imagine Mr. Scrappy managing the dog if it decided to lunge. Even so, it is not clear which creature is setting the agenda. We pass without incident.