Page 43 - WTP Vol. VIII #3
P. 43

 Yes, the woman said. Going back to our roots, and she quickly kissed her partner on the cheek. We went to bed early, she went on, so we could do this. When you reach our age, everything takes planning and effort.
They must have been in their eighties yet had taken care of themselves and looked fit.
Where to? I asked.
The ocean. We want to see the sunrise, the first light of the day.
What are you talking about? her husband said. You’re up before dawn every morning.
Yeah, doing stuff, she replied. Then to me: Just be- cause you’re old doesn’t mean you don’t feel young inside and want to do the things you once did. We need to breathe deeply and view the world clearly, take time to see things as they are.
How long have you two been together?
Forever, he said, and she slapped his arm, saying, Why do you have to make fun of everything, Jim? He huffed, and she told me, Fifty-five years. We met at the beach.
Ah, I said, so there you go. Stirring the old memories.
Yeah, she agreed, we’ve raked up the mileage. Most of it good but not everything. We’ve both made mis- takes but what couple hasn’t? You build a life only
to have it questioned by the things you do, isn’t that true? My sister lived with us for a time when she shouldn’t have. In the mirror I saw her stare at Jim who looked away. At certain times, she continued, you must make crucial decisions that may change the course of your life. You must ask yourself if it’s worth holding things together.
Do you have to go there, Kathy? Jim said, irritated. This young man doesn’t want to hear our life story. He’d fall asleep and then we’d have to drive.
She ignored him and said, You could say fate kept us together.
More like we didn’t have the energy to do anything else, Jim countered.
It was already greying outside and the air had cooled considerably as I drew closer to the coast. I’ve always thought there was a finality when you reached that great expanse of blue, a defining moment where you couldn’t run any farther and your only option was to
“The day already warming, the fog
soon lifted into vapor and the sea showed its placid face to the sun,
a calm contrast to the emotion of the evening.”
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