Everytime the subway stopped he became a shaky metronome. Cane and age clearly visible, I wondered how he navigated though busy morning traffic.
‘St. George’ on tiles and public address. Backpacks pushing through the door. He rose to the exit, unsteady. For a minute I watched him tap his way along the pebbled rubber at the edge of the platform.
“Can I help?” Without making any gesture of recognition, he gripped my arm and found my bent elbow. With the other hand, cane no longer tapping, he pointed four flat fingers towards the escaltor.
Both foot and hand adapted to the moving stairs, shuffling rapidly to stability. Next, the turnstile, also taken more nimbly than expected. Slowly, very slowly, we made it to the corner. Students arriving early would wait for me this morning. Taking the corners with an almost miltary march precision, we made the south east side of Bloor.
He let go of my arm, repeated the four fingered point towards the direction he was going and went off.
Without guide, I continued down St. George.