He was known as the grumpy old man in the neighborhood… that sour puss of his peering out his window to be dissatisfied with practically everything. Sometimes older people act this way to hide their inner feelings of loss and loneliness. It’s the only way they know how to deal with life now.
Maybe this particular grumpy old man was one of those who masked their feelings. You just can’t judge a book by its cover, you know? But this grumpy old man did have another side to him. When a neighbor scolded her son for breaking her coffee maker, he secretly bought her a new one, then he acted like he was going to throw it away in full sight of the woman.
So he asked if she was interested in it. Another neighbor was fanning himself in sweltering heat while rocking his baby. He bought him a fan, dirtied it up a bit, and sat it on his driveway. All the while, a little boy is watching the old man and what happens with his neighbors.
At Christmas, the little boy takes the cookies and milk that were meant for Santa, puts them on the old man’s porch, rings the doorbell and runs away.