I spy a bracelet made of buttons of red and green, even though Christmas burnt, flared, and faded weeks ago. It is wound around the wrist of a lady at the table next to me. I can only hope it is a gift from child or grandchild or someone else’s altogether. On the same hand are two chunky rings in gold, both of which hold large dark stones, while on the other hand are a couple of twists of intertwining silver rings. I’m not usually a fan of silver and gold worn together. These rings seem to weigh her hands down as she struggles with her flourishes.
A collection of bracelets runs further up along her arm, beside the buttons. There is a string of putty colored stones, buffed and polished so they shine, and multiple bands of gold that must be a part of her, a part of who this woman is, and I wonder if she ever takes them off. How could she? Who has that kind of luxury? Excessive accessorizing takes money and time, and this sort of display is an investment of one or the other – sometimes both but more often not. I would doubt it in this case.
On the radio, the Beatles’ ‘Something’ comes on. She is talking animatedly and intently to the man who is sharing a lunch-time with her. He is younger, has a face full of hair, glasses, and an unfortunate pair of khakis that have ridden so far up they might be mistaken for man-pri’s. She seems to be filling the role of guide or teacher, asking him questions and occasionally jotting something down on a tablet of rainbow-colored paper. Though I am a sucker for decent stationary, I find certain designs on lined notebook paper far too precious, in the worst possible way. A background of rainbows is one such bit of preciousness.
The lazy drum rolls of the song, and its unmistakable guitar intro, are part of my musical lexicon, formed on rides with Mom as she tuned in to the easy-listening station (95.5 back then – is it still around?) before my brother and I had developed words to request otherwise. Still, the Beatles are nothing to sneeze at, so some good did get through.
You’re asking me will my love grow?
I don’t know, I don’t know…
Stick around and it may show,
But I don’t know, I don’t know.
On my table a pair of scarves, two for the cold, sits beneath a pair of gloves. I wait there, biding my time, lapping up the scraps of other writers, better writers, and honing what limited skills I may or may not possess. I leave the lady and her lunch co-hort there, grateful for the distraction and rumination to fill a lunch hour, sad for her little collection of jewelry, and hopeful that she is happy in her life – too few of us can claim that.Back to Blog