’Tis the season for giving. So here I was, out chasing sales in that place I try hard never to go: the mall.
I had plenty of company. Great swaths of people washed up against me as I moved upstream from door to department store nirvana.
Perhaps it was the limp that prompted me to pick a single face out of the crowds. I looked down as she passed, almost subconsciously nudged to see the cause of the awkward gait. No socially-imposed politeness to “not stare” could wash away the feeling I got when I saw the answer: a leg that must have been twisted nearly 180 degrees. One foot walking forward, one walking backwards.
I stole a glance at my shopping companion to insure I wasn’t hallucinating.
How can I be shocked at this? It is not uncommon to see such sights in third world countries. But this is the land of the modern medicine man.
I looked down at the trinkets in my hands. Cheap items to appease in that culturally-mandated dance of swapping stuff I don’t need for items that friends and family can buy for themselves.
Instead, if I could have done it, I have found the gift I would rather have purchased.