... just between us
Last summer, distracted by shrubbery, I fell off the curb and into the street. I broke my shoulder but in July I fell in an even more surprising way. Distracted by, could it have been lust, I fell again.
The first time I really saw him, he was sitting all intellectual like in a wing chair in the common room of my retirement home. Several times after that I sat beside him quietly knitting.
He declined to wear his hearing aids. He did not wear his teeth. On the precipice of 90 years he was gallant, tender and sweet. He shared his cookies. He had a dirty laugh, was the recepticle of words and insinuation. He was without guile or ego.
All this and not republican!
One evening, after his obligatory game of Scrabble, he invited me for chocolate ice cream ... at his place. Who could refuse? When my mouth was full he suggested I go upstairs to my place and he would join me in ten minutes.
He was there in five.
I confessed my fondness for him. His arms and legs were girders. He remembered tenderness. So did I.
Wouldn't it be fun to say we ran away? Travelled by train to Chicago, that toddlin' town. Sailed to an island in the south seas or rode together on his motorcycle in 1940?
But he was eighteen then, on his way to brutal war, and I was only two.
He had a date with Chemo. I fell.
Joe died on October first.
March 1, 2013