Coming home one evening, I noticed a pair of house slippers in front of the glass door of the phone booth across the street from my house. Every night after as I stepped out of the car to open the garage, I would see the slippers there.
Those slippers intrigued me. I decided to sit in the park and find out to whom those slippers belonged. People were walking their dogs, and young couples sitting on secluded benches. There was an old man dressed in a worn-out suit, carrying a plastic bag. By the way he was shuffling along, I could tell that he had not a care in the world. He whistled a gay and careless tune, and when he passed by a lamppost, I noticed a mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
I watched him and to my surprise, he made for the phone booth. He took off his shoes, arranged them in front of the glass door, and donned the house slippers. He opened the plastic bag and took out a tray of food. From his pocket he fetched a handkerchief and placed it on the small tabletop in the booth and put the food tray on top of it. There was a horizontal pole on which to sit on and after he had finished his meal and cleared the table, he laid his head on his arms across the tabletop and fell asleep. I walked by and in deference, kept my eyes to the ground. I looked at his shoes, which were city shoes, worn out and in need of shine.
My new neighbour stayed about two weeks in his little makeshift hotel. He left in the morning, on an old unpainted bicycle he had parked by a tree. As I was leaving in my Toyota and he on his two-wheeled Ferrari, he grinned at me and waved.
Happy with the least… but still, I could do with three million euros.