i always knew that the first few bursts of spring weather after a long winter made people do strange things. however, i think yesterday takes the cake.
i was standing at the corner of M St., waiting at the crosswalk to continue my daily morning trek from the metro station to the office. the forecast for the day was 80 degrees, but it was starting off slowly - it couldn't have been more than 50 degrees as i stood there. i watched a woman approach the curb direct across the street, stop, and wait along with everyone else for the light to change.
she was probably in her mid-20s. short, maybe 5'3'' or so, and rail thin. her hair was lazily pulled back in a knot, and she had on a blue button-down shirt and khaki capri pants. she had two bags, one laptop and one smaller catch-all, slung across her shoulder.
she had no shoes on.
and i don't mean like, "and you should've seen how flimsy her flip-flops were, i mean, she might as well have not had any shoes on!" or "who walks around the city in gym socks, anyway?"
i mean, her feet were bare.
i stood there, aghast. i tried not to stare. but i was thoroughly flummoxed. i mean, no one walks around the downtown of a major urban center with no shoes on. not even bums and crazy people. the only rationale for such a behavior that i can imagine is waking up and thinking, "you know, i'd like to get a communicable disease today. oh, and perhaps step on a needle or a rusty nail!"
the light changed, and we walked past each other, me surreptitiously scanning her face for any latent signs of mental illness. and, though entirely inconclusive and inadmissible in a court of law, my spot-check deemed her clear of The Crazy. so what on earth was she doing wandering down a city street with no shoes on? and seemingly completely unperturbed by it??