"Hey, hey man! That's a nice cowboy hat you got there."
"Oh yeah, thanks, dude."
"Look, I seen you around in that hat. What size shoe you wear?"
"Um, like a 13D or E."
"Listen, you want a pair of cowboy boots? I got some."
"Ah, hey, that's cool and all, but I ain't got any money. Thanks though."
"Nah, I don't want anything for 'em. You waiting for a bus? I'll be right back. If the bus comes while I'm gone, well, it comes. But if you're still here, you can try on the boots!"
And with that, he took off back into the apartment blocks. A bit unsure of what'd just transpired, I checked my phone to see how much longer the bus would be. Two minutes. It was anyone's guess as to which of them would reach me first.
Of course, what city bus is ever exactly on time? Sure as shit, the stranger returned with not one, but two pairs of well-worn western boots.
"Go ahead, man; see if they fit!"
Fit they did, like a trusty pair of basketball shoes. These vintage Noconas were so worn that the leather was soft and pliable to the touch. The polar opposite of my weeks-old Tony Lamas, which are stiff as a board and far from the "comfortably broken-in" stage.
"Geez, man...I don't know what to say. Thanks, I'm SBN1."
"Yeah, cool, I'm Dennis. I live right across the way. That's my car over there." He said, pointing out a jet black Monte Carlo almost exactly like the one from the movie, Training Day.
"Damn, Dennis! That's a sweet ride."
"Yeah, that's my wife," he said beaming. "Well, looks like your bus is here. Take care."
"Thanks again, Dennis. I really appreciate it."
"Ain't nothin', my man. I did you a kindness, now you just do one for someone else. I'll see you around, and if I don't...I'll see you in heaven."
I had no reply, but instead let it soak in for a minute. As I boarded the bus, I glanced back to see Dennis walking away. I couldn't help but notice that he wasn't wearing any shoes at all.