A woman was walking her child to school.
A normal everyday occurrence. The two were clearly close. He held tightly to her hand. She chatted with him, making him laugh. He might have been five or six years old. She stopped a the red light, waiting for it to change, when it did they crossed.
They were greeted with stares.
And looks of concern.
And rampant disapproval.
She was using a white cane, swinging it in a gentle arc in front of her.
People actually gaped.
Two took photographs on their cell phones.
The boy was wearing a bright orange vest, carrying a knapsack on his back. They crossed the street, turned the corner and were on their way.
She clearly knew what she was doing.
He clearly felt safe, his hand in hers.
But you could see, as thought bubbles appeared over each persons head, the various catastrophes that could have, might have happened. Heads shook. Some stared to see if the boy, too, was blind.
They saw everything BUT a mother walking her kid to school in the morning.
They couldn't just see that.
Of course they couldn't.
Because they had to layer over what was there with what wasn't there - incompetence, danger and, oh my God, chastity.
Those people don't have sex do they?
Those people can't care for children can they?
Those people shouldn't be allowed out alone, should they?
The boy was too young to notice the effect they had on the world around them. He will one day. I wonder if he'll tell her? I wonder if she'll tell him, in return, that of course, she knew.