An Emerging Dream

 

starThe crash of the oncoming waves,

their caressing of the shore.

The soft, cool sand beneath our feet,

and the sweet smell of you.

A comfort zone, your chest, your arms.

A fit as near perfect as could be.

Safety and tenderness embraces me,

feelings near impossible to believe.

An eternity of sadness

dispelled in a single night.

Hope emerges that perhaps

things will finally be al right.

Anticipation of what lies ahead,

kindles the flame ignited in

a near frozen heart.

A yearning in our eyes.

An understanding–with no hesitation.

A pause–an eternity.

The feeling of eage and

sensuous lips.

Copyright 2013

Confrontation Versus Peace

peace

New York City – Central Park – Shooting of a teenage white boy by a Middle Eastern youth.

Craziness in the city.  Demonstrations in front of mosques.  Arabs versus the Western world.

Retaliation.

I was in the park when I first saw two white teenage boys break away from a crowd of demonstrators aimed at fighting with another group of Middle Easterners farther away on the other side.  They were twins and dressed identically.  I broke away as well and chased them, yelling for them to come back, to stop – one of them was waving a gun.

I knew their plan right away.  One of them would kill a member of the opposing group and then each would swear the other had done it and neither could be convicted of the killing.  I had seen it a million times on Law & Order.  Reasonable doubt.  It does it all the time and the guilty person goes free.

I ran as fast as I could but suddenly I found myself in the midst of all of the other demonstrators and up against an opposing teenage boy also waving a gun to shoot the two approaching.

I ran right into him and grabbed his arm.  There was nothing I could do to help the other teenage boys and I prayed someone else would do what I was doing now, trying to avert a horrific tragedy.

He screamed at me in Arabic and struggled desperately to free his gun-toting arm from my grasp.  I kept yelling him to put the gun down and although he could have easily overpowered me I wouldn’t let go.  Then he took me completely by surprise; he turned the gun first on me and then on himself.  I began to cry and begged him not to do it, not to shoot himself or anyone else.  I heard his friends call to him.  “Nazim don’t do it!”

The police had moved in on both sides and the other teenagers were brought down quickly.

Nazim fell to the ground on his knees and let the gun fall onto the grass.  I fell down beside him and cradled  him in my arms.  His eyes were as dark as a midnight sky without stars or clouds. They were deep like the ocean and I found myself lost in their beauty.

My heart nearly exploded with exultation that I had prevented one, if not two ancient time ridden executions in a modern society in an avant garde city.

Nazim looked at me, his piercing eyes mesmerizing me.  And then his look changed and it was a look of recognition.  Although I did not recognize him, something in his eyes told me he definitely knew me.

“I know you,” he said, tears running down his dark skinned face.  “I know you.”

“You couldn’t know me,” I replied.  “I’ve never seen you before.”

“But I have seen you.  Two years ago I broke into your apartment on the West Side and tried to kill you when you found me inside your home.”

I remembered that day all too well.

I was pregnant and had gone to the beach with my husband.  Stupidly, I had let myself get sunburned, a “no-no” for a pregnant woman.  I left work early and went home only to find someone inside my apartment trying to steal the few items that a newly-married couple might own.

I never got a good look at the robber because I turned around and literally ran for my life until I reached the sidewalk outside.  I stopped running and walked slowly so as not to stand out in the bustling crowd of people walking up and down my street.  The robber came after me but couldn’t make me out and ran away.  That night I lost my son from the shock of having to run for my life.

I started to comprehend what Nazim was saying.  It had been him who had broken into my apartment and tried to kill me.  For a moment I was incredulously stunned.

I had always been a spiritual person and now believed that this moment had happened for a reason.  Although I grieved over the loss of my child, I had learned to move on and forgive this person I did not know then in order to survive.  And months down the timeline, I did give birth to a son, the one who did not make it down from Heaven the first time.

Time stood still for what seemed an eternity.

I took Nazim’s tear-stained face in my hands and said: “I forgave you then, I forgive you now and now you must learn to do the same.”

The Silver Brooch

Grandma always wore a silver brooch on either her red velvet cloche hat, a neck-wrapping green paisley scarf, or on a lapel of her Sunday best sober-colored dress.  When the pin wasn’t in use, it adorned her hatpin cushion, always facing out, “because of its beauty,” she would say.

She said grandpa had brought it home from the war, always telling a different version of his war story, like the one time he said he got it on the cheap from some poor contessa who had lost her fortune during the war.  There were many versions of how this silver brooch with all of its emeralds, rubies, diamonds and pearls had made its way into his possession, but the important part of the story was that he got it for his wife.  It was the least he could do for being away so long and because he missed her and loved her so much.  He didn’t know that the greatest gift he could bring home was himself.

Grandma never said which war grandpa had served in.  Really, weren’t all wars the same?  Soldiers fought, soldiers died. Some even returned home.  But the sadness was always there no matter the individual outcome.  And the world, as a whole, never truly recovered although it appeared, in time, to march forward at all costs.

Grandma never really had it easy.  While grandpa was off somewhere fighting, she had to make ends meet.  She had to feed her small family of one daughter and herself, and grandpa didn’t add much to the pot and so it was mostly up to grandma to do so.  She worked as a switchboard operator in the days when fancy apartment buildings had such things and although she made a pittance of a salary, still the gifts at the holidays more than made up for it.

Christmas was always the best time of year, although other holidays brought forth various rewards for her excellent service.  Everyone knew her by name and said she was the best switchboard operator they had ever known.  She continued to work there, even when grandpa came home.  Holiday gifts were mostly food because all of the tenants knew she could use it for her family.  There were other kinds of gifts too.  The green paisley scarf had been just one of those other kinds of gifts, along with the black kidskin gloves which turned out to be a nice finishing touch for her Sunday go-to-church mornings, rain or shine, or snow.

Also at the holidays, grandpa somehow always managed to bring home a turkey or a ham and all the fixings, or a big basket of fruit, cookies and cakes, and grandpa never said how he had procured these things and grandma never asked.  Some things were just better not knowing.  And then, one day, grandpa was gone.  Then her daughter was all grown up and gone and had a daughter herself.  They no longer lived at home with grandma.

At first, when grandpa left, grandma seemed to take it in stride.  She always thought he would come back, but he didn’t right away.  No one really knew why he left, but silently grandma thought it was because of the war and what he had seen and the fear of having to be responsible for anybody else but himself.

Her daughter and granddaughter lived in the next town and she would go often to visit them taking a bus, the fare being cheap in those days.  Over the big bridge she would travel for at least forty minutes to visit them but what a grand thing it was once she arrived.  Her daughter would prepare a feast.  But there was a sad similarity between the two women as her daughter’s husband had left her too.  He had found somebody else and sent money every month for his ex-wife and his daughter.  And so, mother and daughter each got by and the granddaughter came to know no other life but that of having a mother and a grandmother.

Daughter and granddaughter also went to visit.  They too took the bus and made the forty minute journey in reverse, going over the bridge in the opposite direction, watching all the buildings go by which all became markers letting them know just how far they were from grandma’s house.  The only time they couldn’t visit was when there was too much snow.  Then they would have to wait several days, even a week, for the snow to be cleared and the streets walkable.

When the granddaughter grew old enough, she was allowed to go to grandma’s house all by herself, taking great pride in boarding the bus all by herself, putting the loose change into the box and finding herself a comfortable seat right behind the exit door so she could get off as quickly as possible to finish the rest of her journey by foot.  Going to grandma’s house was always a treat.  Grandma always had goodies in her house.  And somehow she had scraped enough money together to buy herself a television, although all she watched were the baseball games.  But there was a great big toy store right across the street, Rapparport’s, and there was always a spare dollar available for her granddaughter to buy some treasure there and bring it upstairs in the walk up to show off to her grandmother.  One time, it was a harmonica and she learned how to play it in no time, much to her grandmother’s chagrin.

Then there were the various special objects that she was only allowed to play with, with her grandmother’s permission.  Especially the makeup.  Of course, makeup in those days was only loose powder, rouge and lipstick to finish it off.  There were also the many bottles of perfume, mostly gifts from her tenants, but her favorite was the Kentucky Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden.  The apartment always smelled of it and the granddaughter would sneak a spritz of it on the sly.  And when she stayed over, she shared the fluffy wool mattress which had enough room for just the two of them.

One item was always sacred though and grandma would only let her touch it, although one time she had actually let her put it on her sweater.  For a few minutes.  It was the silver brooch.

It was so gorgeous that even her granddaughter was afraid she might harm it in some way, let a precious stone fall off, break the thin wire of the pin itself, but she came to love it just as much as her grandmother did and treated it as the treasure it was to both of them.  When grandma visited, she would always give her one or two dollars and off the granddaughter would go to the downstairs Woolworth’s, the local five and dime store.  Where would she go in that fabulous store?  To the pin section, of course, to buy her own special pins which she would treasure forever as well.  One time, she bought two special pins.  One was a baby chick, with its body made of yellow fluff.  The other was a little mouse with a black fluffy body.  Sometimes, with only nine cents, she would treat herself to an ice cream sandwich with waffle sides or with ten cents a big bag of Spanish peanuts, their brown skins flying around everywhere in the bag and on her fingers and all over her clothes.  But all in all, grandma’s silver brooch was the best pin she had ever seen and no dollar or two would ever be able to buy such a prize.

And one day, while grandma was visiting…grandpa showed up out of the blue.

Now grandpa had actually not left forever, but he and grandma no longer lived together.  He only visited when he had some money and as always brought with him a feast.  The first real time that she remembered meeting her grandfather was when he showed up at Thanksgiving at his daughter’s home.  He looked like Santa, without the red white collared and white cuffed sleeves suit, but he was hauling two things with him:  a Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings and, unbelievably, a brand new record player still in its box for his granddaughter, along with a couple of records to test it out.  That record player became her best friend and over the years she came to have a voluminous collection of 45’s and then 33-1/3 long playing records.

She was a singer, since she was in the crib, her mother would brag to everyone and sing she did every day with her bedroom door closed and at the top of her lungs.  The record phase never truly went out of fashion, but then the radio came along with all the top hits and she would sing to them until her mother would yell to keep the noise down.  She would still sing but softly to herself.  That was all until American Bandstand came along and she learned to dance the latest dance crazes and considered herself always in vogue and taught her friends too who did not have television and didn’t know how to dance.

And grandma always wore her silver brooch every time she came over and always to church on Sundays, even when she was at her daughter’s house and went to mass around the corner.  The brooch always looked the same, wonderful, fabulous and just out of reach to anyone else.  She never took it off wherever it adorned her in some way unless she was going to bed in her own house.  Then it went back into the red velvet hatpin cushion which stood maybe half an inch high on four little silver plated legs.

And then grandma didn’t come over anymore.  The trips were only made to her house.  But her granddaughter did get to stay over and grandma continued to dish out a dollar or two and her granddaughter still went across the street to buy herself her own treasure at the toy store.  Sometimes, grandma would send her to grocery store to buy her grandmother’s favorite strawberry ice cream and they would both have it in fancy porcelain bowls grandma had bought when she was younger.

Everyone grew older and soon the granddaughter left home, having found a great job in the city.  She found her own apartment and enjoyed living by herself, listening to music or watching television, going out with her friends and having a job of her own, just like her grandmother.  Soon enough, Grandma didn’t get out of the apartment very much, just to go to the grocery store.  Later on, she would have her groceries delivered from Gristede’s by a nice young boy.  Grandma appreciated the value of such a service and always tipped the boy well.

One day, grandma fell and broke her hip.  Her days of living alone were over.  She went to live with her daughter.  Her granddaughter couldn’t visit often, but she went as often as she could and there was grandma in her wheelchair still wearing her silver brooch.  Her daughter wouldn’t dare try to make her take it off; that would have been a sacrilege and it seemed the very thing that kept grandma alive.

The day came when grandma left this earth.

Everyone gathered at her daughter’s house and her granddaughter knew there was only one memory of her grandmother she wanted: the silver brooch.  And though she would never have dared to tell her grandmother, she knew it was really only silver plated with paste emeralds, rubies, diamonds and pearls of plastic, but to grandma it would always be her famous silver brooch.

Copyright 2012

The Silver Brooch

Grandma always wore a silver brooch on either her red velvet cloche hat, a neck-wrapping green paisley scarf, or on a lapel of her Sunday best sober-colored dress.  When the pin wasn’t in use, it adorned her hatpin cushion, always facing out, “because of its beauty,” she would say.

She said grandpa had brought it home from the war, always telling a different version of his war story, like the one time he said he got it on the cheap from some poor contessa who had lost her fortune during the war.  There were many versions of how this silver brooch with all of its emeralds, rubies, diamonds and pearls had made its way into his possession, but the important part of the story was that he got it for his wife.  It was the least he could do for being away so long and because he missed her and loved her so much.  He didn’t know that the greatest gift he could bring home was himself.

Grandma never said which war grandpa had served in.  Really, weren’t all wars the same?  Soldiers fought, soldiers died. Some even returned home.  But the sadness was always there no matter the individual outcome.  And the world, as a whole, never truly recovered although it appeared, in time, to march forward at all costs.

Grandma never really had it easy.  While grandpa was off somewhere fighting, she had to make ends meet.  She had to feed her small family of one daughter and herself, and grandpa didn’t add much to the pot and so it was mostly up to grandma to do so.  She worked as a switchboard operator in the days when fancy apartment buildings had such things and although she made a pittance of a salary, still the gifts at the holidays more than made up for it.

Christmas was always the best time of year, although other holidays brought forth various rewards for her excellent service.  Everyone knew her by name and said she was the best switchboard operator they had ever known.  She continued to work there, even when grandpa came home.  Holiday gifts were mostly food because all of the tenants knew she could use it for her family.  There were other kinds of gifts too.  The green paisley scarf had been just one of those other kinds of gifts, along with the black kidskin gloves which turned out to be a nice finishing touch for her Sunday go-to-church mornings, rain or shine, or snow.

Also at the holidays, grandpa somehow always managed to bring home a turkey or a ham and all the fixings, or a big basket of fruit, cookies and cakes, and grandpa never said how he had procured these things and grandma never asked.  Some things were just better not knowing.  And then, one day, grandpa was gone.  Then her daughter was all grown up and gone and had a daughter herself.  They no longer lived at home with grandma.

At first, when grandpa left, grandma seemed to take it in stride.  She always thought he would come back, but he didn’t right away.  No one really knew why he left, but silently grandma thought it was because of the war and what he had seen and the fear of having to be responsible for anybody else but himself.

Her daughter and granddaughter lived in the next town and she would go often to visit them taking a bus, the fare being cheap in those days.  Over the big bridge she would travel for at least forty minutes to visit them but what a grand thing it was once she arrived.  Her daughter would prepare a feast.  But there was a sad similarity between the two women as her daughter’s husband had left her too.  He had found somebody else and sent money every month for his ex-wife and his daughter.  And so, mother and daughter each got by and the granddaughter came to know no other life but that of having a mother and a grandmother.

Daughter and granddaughter also went to visit.  They too took the bus and made the forty minute journey in reverse, going over the bridge in the opposite direction, watching all the buildings go by which all became markers letting them know just how far they were from grandma’s house.  The only time they couldn’t visit was when there was too much snow.  Then they would have to wait several days, even a week, for the snow to be cleared and the streets walkable.

When the granddaughter grew old enough, she was allowed to go to grandma’s house all by herself, taking great pride in boarding the bus all by herself, putting the loose change into the box and finding herself a comfortable seat right behind the exit door so she could get off as quickly as possible to finish the rest of her journey by foot.  Going to grandma’s house was always a treat.  Grandma always had goodies in her house.  And somehow she had scraped enough money together to buy herself a television, although all she watched were the baseball games.  But there was a great big toy store right across the street, Rapparport’s, and there was always a spare dollar available for her granddaughter to buy some treasure there and bring it upstairs in the walk up to show off to her grandmother.  One time, it was a harmonica and she learned how to play it in no time, much to her grandmother’s chagrin.

Then there were the various special objects that she was only allowed to play with, with her grandmother’s permission.  Especially the makeup.  Of course, makeup in those days was only loose powder, rouge and lipstick to finish it off.  There were also the many bottles of perfume, mostly gifts from her tenants, but her favorite was the Kentucky Blue Grass by Elizabeth Arden.  The apartment always smelled of it and the granddaughter would sneak a spritz of it on the sly.  And when she stayed over, she shared the fluffy wool mattress which had enough room for just the two of them.

One item was always sacred though and grandma would only let her touch it, although one time she had actually let her put it on her sweater.  For a few minutes.  It was the silver brooch.

It was so gorgeous that even her granddaughter was afraid she might harm it in some way, let a precious stone fall off, break the thin wire of the pin itself, but she came to love it just as much as her grandmother did and treated it as the treasure it was to both of them.  When grandma visited, she would always give her one or two dollars and off the granddaughter would go to the downstairs Woolworth’s, the local five and dime store.  Where would she go in that fabulous store?  To the pin section, of course, to buy her own special pins which she would treasure forever as well.  One time, she bought two special pins.  One was a baby chick, with its body made of yellow fluff.  The other was a little mouse with a black fluffy body.  Sometimes, with only nine cents, she would treat herself to an ice cream sandwich with waffle sides or with ten cents a big bag of Spanish peanuts, their brown skins flying around everywhere in the bag and on her fingers and all over her clothes.  But all in all, grandma’s silver brooch was the best pin she had ever seen and no dollar or two would ever be able to buy such a prize.

And one day, while grandma was visiting…grandpa showed up out of the blue.

Now grandpa had actually not left forever, but he and grandma no longer lived together.  He only visited when he had some money and as always brought with him a feast.  The first real time that she remembered meeting her grandfather was when he showed up at Thanksgiving at his daughter’s home.  He looked like Santa, without the red white collared and white cuffed sleeves suit, but he was hauling two things with him:  a Thanksgiving turkey with all the fixings and, unbelievably, a brand new record player still in its box for his granddaughter, along with a couple of records to test it out.  That record player became her best friend and over the years she came to have a voluminous collection of 45’s and then 33-1/3 long playing records.

She was a singer, since she was in the crib, her mother would brag to everyone and sing she did every day with her bedroom door closed and at the top of her lungs.  The record phase never truly went out of fashion, but then the radio came along with all the top hits and she would sing to them until her mother would yell to keep the noise down.  She would still sing but softly to herself.  That was all until American Bandstand came along and she learned to dance the latest dance crazes and considered herself always in vogue and taught her friends too who did not have television and didn’t know how to dance.

And grandma always wore her silver brooch every time she came over and always to church on Sundays, even when she was at her daughter’s house and went to mass around the corner.  The brooch always looked the same, wonderful, fabulous and just out of reach to anyone else.  She never took it off wherever it adorned her in some way unless she was going to bed in her own house.  Then it went back into the red velvet hatpin cushion which stood maybe half an inch high on four little silver plated legs.

And then grandma didn’t come over anymore.  The trips were only made to her house.  But her granddaughter did get to stay over and grandma continued to dish out a dollar or two and her granddaughter still went across the street to buy herself her own treasure at the toy store.  Sometimes, grandma would send her to grocery store to buy her grandmother’s favorite strawberry ice cream and they would both have it in fancy porcelain bowls grandma had bought when she was younger.

Everyone grew older and soon the granddaughter left home, having found a great job in the city.  She found her own apartment and enjoyed living by herself, listening to music or watching television, going out with her friends and having a job of her own, just like her grandmother.  Soon enough, Grandma didn’t get out of the apartment very much, just to go to the grocery store.  Later on, she would have her groceries delivered from Gristede’s by a nice young boy.  Grandma appreciated the value of such a service and always tipped the boy well.

One day, grandma fell and broke her hip.  Her days of living alone were over.  She went to live with her daughter.  Her granddaughter couldn’t visit often, but she went as often as she could and there was grandma in her wheelchair still wearing her silver brooch.  Her daughter wouldn’t dare try to make her take it off; that would have been a sacrilege and it seemed the very thing that kept grandma alive.

The day came when grandma left this earth.

Everyone gathered at her daughter’s house and her granddaughter knew there was only one memory of her grandmother she wanted: the silver brooch.  And though she would never have dared to tell her grandmother, she knew it was really only silver plated with paste emeralds, rubies, diamonds and pearls of plastic, but to grandma it would always be her famous silver brooch.

Copyright 2012

Snowglobe (repost for those who didn’t receive it)

When she was eleven, Anna became ill quite suddenly.  Her mother thought it was just a stomach ache, but then there was a high fever and severe pain in her side.  The doctor was called and she was rushed to the hospital.  And just in time.  Her appendix was on the verge of bursting.  It was all quite frightening, both for Anna and her mother who was raising her on her own.  Anna’s father had left when she was only seven and their contact was limited and scarce.  But just the same, Anna’s mother called her father and let him know.

Anna had had a crush on Richard for quite some time.  So had most of the girls in her class.  She didn’t think she had a chance and so she pined for him for a couple of years while they were in junior high.

When she was in the hospital, which was St. Mary’s and run by the nuns, she was on the borderline of being in the children’s ward or the adult ward and the adult ward won.  So she was in the bed next to a woman who was dying.  And who later died.  It was a trauma she would never forget, an eleven year old watching an old woman die and listening to all of her relatives sobbing over her death.  It just wasn’t right.

She was in the hospital for several days as was the custom back then; none of that rushing people in for surgery and sending them home the next day like today.  And so Anna was then given a new patient with whom to share her room.  This woman was much younger and married with a little boy.  The husband and child came to visit her and brought her a Mad Magazine.  Anna had never seen or read such a magazine.  And the woman gave it to her once she had finished it.  She read it and started to laugh and then gripped her side because laughing hurt her fresh scar.  The woman laughed at Anna laughing and almost crying at the same time.

One night, very late, Anna had a visitor.  It was her father.  Being somewhat estranged, her father didn’t know quite how to act around his daughter who had never been sick a day in her life and he brought her a present.  A pair of stockings.  Anna wasn’t allowed to wear stockings yet, nor wear makeup or any of those things associated with a child her age, but her father, awkward at best, had no idea of what to bring an eleven year old who was in the hospital.  Her mother was quite upset over the gift, but let it go in order not to cause any more friction than there already was between those two.

Anna went home the next day.  She was out of school for several days.  One of those days, the bell rang.  To her great surprise, it was Richard.  He had come to visit her.  Anna thought she would die of embarrassment.  Her crush on Richard made her feel so vulnerable, that her great love for him was countered by her not wanting to be seen by him in such a terrible state.

Richard brought her a present with a get well card.  It was a snow globe.  He shook it for her and the glittery snow went topside and then cascaded all around the small Christmas tree that was inside.  Anna was more in love with him than ever.  She hadn’t thought he had ever noticed her, never mind going to all the trouble of finding out where she lived, visiting her and bringing a present.  The card was simple enough, but was signed “Ricky” with several “X,s” and “O’s.”  Never could a girl have been so happy.  Maybe he loved her after all.  Richard was her first big love.

Years later, they lost touch.  Richard went to a different high school; they were separated by schooling districts and she never saw him again.  She pined for him and tried to find him, but to no avail.  He was gone, never to be seen again.

She grew up, but the snow globe was a constant reminder of her first true love and she kept it forever.  Every so often she would shake it and watch the snow shimmer down and around the miniature Christmas tree planted in its center.  Years went by, but she never forgot about him.

When she grew even older, had married and had children, had survived her husband’s death, she still thought of Richard and the snow globe only served to kindle and rekindle that childhood romance.  After her husband died, she looked for ways to find him.  Facebook was the in thing and she searched through all of the Richards she could find but no one was him.

But she did find friends of theirs and soon communications and messages led her to him.  She was ecstatic.  When she finally was able to get a message to him, she learned that he too had married (which was to be expected) but had not had any children.  Like her, his wife had died.  They were both alone.  Although they were much older, they still lived in the same old neighborhoods and they made a date to meet.

Anna didn’t know what to expect.  Her blond hair had turned to Irish silver and his to salt and pepper.  But each one saw the other as they had looked back in school.  It was as if time had stood still.  They met and fell instantly back in love.  They held hands as if still in school.  They exchanged kisses on the cheek and in their minds, the old romance was rekindled once again.

Richard admitted that he, too, had had a crush on her but once they were separated, he was forced by his tender age to move on, as she had been and done.  And although each had traveled all over the world, neither one had ever forgotten the other, and believed it impossible that their paths would ever cross again.  It was a Christmas miracle.

 

From then on, they were inseparable.  They vowed never to lose touch again.

A year went by, and they were sitting in a diner when Richard proposed.  Anna couldn’t believe her good fortune.  The boy she had always loved had returned and they merely picked up where they had left off.  And then, outside, it began to snow.

 

Copyright 2012

Lady in the Photo

Bewitched.  Bewitching. Sublime.  They are the first words that came to mind after I saw the lady in the photo.  Long dark hair, slightly curly, deep-set dark eyes like the night.  Cupid lips.  All in black and white.  Even without color, I fell in love immediately and knew I would recognize her anywhere.

The photo was in my mother’s photo album from way back when, but it didn’t matter. I was in love.  I knew the odds of ever meeting her were astronomical but that didn’t stop me from feeling what I felt.  She was smiling ever so slightly, reminiscent of the Mona Lisa and I felt she must belong to someone else. But I longed to make her mine.

Love at my age now was a non sequitar.  I had been married, but now she was gone and my life was celebate and I had no problem with that because my Eleanor had been my life before she died and continued to be my life even in her absence.  There had been brief flirtations, but I could never bring myself to follow through on any of them.  Nice enough ladies, just not for me, not now, not ever.

My life now was quiet.  No fuss, no muss.  Retirement was okay.  I had done my time before that and I was content.  Not overly happy, but content just the same. I had become somewhat of a hermit, a recluse if you will.  My neighbors rarely saw me.  The only people I had serious relationships with were the ones who worked in the nearby grocery store (who had known me before I had become a widower) and the ones who worked in the drugstore where I went for all my senior citizen medical requirements.  Maybe I might force myself to go to the mall, to buy a new pair of shoes when the ones I had broken in so well finally bit the dust or for a new shirt or a pair of trousers because parts of them had become thread bare.

And so, I expected nothing and nothing was what I found.  And then, it happened. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I did have to go out every so often to gas up the car and take it in for its required maintenance to keep it under warranty.  But the car went nearly nowhere.  A full tank lasted nearly two weeks.  My mileage was so low even the dealership remained in awe.  My car was as new as the day I bought it.

But I digress.  Yes, then it happened.

I was at the gas station filling up for my bi-weekly dose, when a car pulled in facing mine.  The woman got out of her car and seemed unsure if she had come close enough to the pump.  She had pulled in so fast I think she thought that she had perhaps offended me.  I looked up at her and then I saw them, those eyes.  I would have known them anywhere.  She smiled at me and I almost melted into a pool of water right there.  I smiled back, wanting to say something, but the words wouldn’t come.  All I could do was continue to smile.

When she finished, she backed out and drove away.  I finished and also drove away.  I knew I had found her, the lady in the photo.  But I let her slip through my fingers, content just to have seen her in person.

 

Copyright 2012