In first person… Fort Lauderdale incident: Chai, my friends, chai

He paced the path three more times, then began another go round. Part way he stopped, stared into space, wavered. Shook his head, waited, leaned heavily on his cane, then walked in silence to his starting place. Now, more secure, he took three petty counted steps and turned to resume his walk.

His counting became deliberate and loud, from 15 to 18, six more excursions and done. He turned toward a bench inscribed, as were others along a row, "Seniors Rotary Club."

He pointed his cane, now a swagger stick, at his bench. Counted to nine, then murmured, "Half a chai, I made it." Then sat down.

A flock of pigeons gathered at his feet. He reached into his trouser pocket, pulled out a crumpled paper bag, withdrew a fistful of dry bread crumbs, cast them to the birds until no crumbs were left.

He shouted when the birds took off, "Chai, my friends, chai and good life."