A rose can bloom, even in an ancient garden.
Recently, I reconnected with a fellow I’d known in my youth. Back then, we had quite the torrid love affair, even lived together during the 70’s when such a thing was frowned upon, which made it even spicier, you’d better believe it. We were the talk of the town, even if it was only Allentown.
After reaching out to his daughter on Facebook, and finding out that he, too was widowed, we exchanged phone numbers and he called. Even though we had not spoken for 32 years, his voice was the same and so was his attitude. We arranged to meet the next day.
Oh, the jangling nerves, the acne breakout, the gastrointestinal upset! If I hadn’t looked in the mirror I’d have thought I was 17 and not 61, but the image staring back at me was an old lady with a zit on a wrinkle and jeans that showed off a definite muffin-top. Also, hair that smelled like Nice ‘n’ Easy.
When it came time for our meeting I walked right past him. He called out, “Hey!” and I turned around to see an old man, completely bald, trembling with nerves or Parkinson’s, I didn’t know which.
And then, he smiled.
The years receded like a roiling tide and never mind the muffin-top, the wrinkles, the 20 extra pounds, I was still beautiful, so he said. And, by golly, on closer investigation, he was still the handsome tough guy, the bad boy, the former boxer-turned-Teamster I had fallen in love with back in the day.
We were smitten. Twitterpated. The alarms on our pacemakers went off simultaneously.
If you are younger than say, 35, you may wonder what it’s like when geriatrics fall in love. Let’s just say that it’s pretty much the same as when teenagers fall in love only there are more naps involved and we don’t have to neck in the car. In fact, since many of us can’t drive at night anymore it’s important that we don’t neck in the car. And, instead of asking, “What’s your sign?” we lean toward questions pertaining to Medicare Part C.
I am happy to report that I’m now ‘going steady’ with a fine fellow I’ve known for a long, long time. Although he will never replace my husband and I will never replace his wife, we are a couple with a plan, not for the future but for the here-and-now.
We’ve both learned not to waste a minute of life being proper, waiting to have fun, holding off on what makes us happy. That philosophy is for the young and I know for sure that my youth is but a memory. But when we talk about our past together, something magical happens and we hold each other tight, remembering.
I guess that when the garden of life is recaptured, a few weeds just don’t matter; it’s the roses, my friend, that are important.