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There's Always Time

Posted by Dr. D , 16 October 2012 · 424 views

It was difficult in those days but we never knew it.  Somehow the simplicity of being poor gave beauty to our days.  We had no car but rode the train North to the River Po where we sprawled on the scented grass and ate the delicious bread from that bakery in Portofino.  We bought cheese from the Tuscan farmer and drank vino da tavola, raving of its magnificence. We would stay there on summer nights until fireflies danced in the tall grasses and then run for the last train home.

It seemed that everything we did was accented with laughter.  Your arm belonged looped into mine and we would sing with the street musicians.  When music flowed out from La Scala, we danced in the street.  We dangled our feet in the Seine and believed with all our hearts that life was to be enjoyed.  “If reincarnation is true,” you whispered, “can I come back as your second wife?”

I didn’t know then how much I was learning or what a marvelous teacher you were.  You taught me that nothing was important except us.  In that time of youth, you were absolutely right.  We were torn from that fantasy by life itself.  Without planning or even knowing, we were soon gulping toast and coffee and racing for the freeway.  We were buying land and building a home and dreaming of children.  Each year debating the trade-in value of cars and attending parties because we were expected to be seen.  We found sophistication and somehow things became necessities.

You summarized it on a winter night when we pressed against each other on the sofa.  “Where did we go?” you asked, and I had no answer.  We could only wonder if that “we” once known was somewhere waiting our return.  We wondered if we could find them.  “I want to do something crazy, just one last time,” you said with a pert nod, “something absolutely insane.  Skinny dipping in the ocean, sky diving, riding bicycles to Chile, I don’t care but it has to be something no one will ever believe.”

Dinner in San Francisco and returning on the red eye was fun but it wasn’t what you meant and I knew it.  You pretended it was enough.  But there were hours to work and diminishing amounts of time to play and live.  I suffered watching you trying to be happy while remembering when you knew no other way to be.  And so I counted my frequent flyer miles and applied for the gold card.  Then one day while you were drying dishes, I said simply, “Go upstairs and pack.”

In Milan we returned to Roscelli’s and you sat at a different table.  Finishing your coffee, you stood and I went to you just as I had done years before.  “Please.  If you go out that door I will never see you again.  This is a public place, you’re safe.  Just one coffee with me, please?”

My Italian was terrible and you called for Dario, the waiter.  You spoke to him and I didn’t understand that you were asking what this madman wanted.  He explained it and I cupped my hands in supplication only to have you laugh at my brash lunacy.  We re-enacted the whole event and you cried with the remembering.

We went to our apartment and were bold enough to knock on the door.  A young woman holding a baby on her hip listened to my explanation before nodding slowly and stepping away from the open door.  Not much had changed.  It was as shabby as we once knew.  The radiator still rattled and the pigeons perched on the sill as if waiting for you to return with crumbs.  The bathroom sink yet wore the stains of age.  The little key hook you put in the wall served as a reminder.  I think it was the same bed. . . .

It was different after that.  Maybe we didn’t find who we once were but we became happy with who we had become.  We decided to always have time for each other and the less time we gave to others, the more willing they were to wait.

There is always time for a touch.  A kiss is but a second.  A smile can be well afforded.  A gentle word redefines everything.  To permit a day to pass without the punctuation of affection is to make it a day wasted.  Learn to love and to understand that the trials life brings upon you have no relation to who you are together.  Be happy and create memories that you will one day want to revisit.

Truely...truely amazing.

Maybe one day a third party might add:
'And in their final days, on their final resting place; they held eachother tighly as they did many times before and reflected on their life of love and the happiness they shared and passed to their offspring.And in a moment of ecstacy, they took a breath of glee...and never stopped dreaming.' :")
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Star of the Sea
Oct 19 2012 09:56 AM
That really touched my heart, every day is precious with someone you love, always seize the moment.
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