Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Breaking daily routines like sunlight breaking clouds

It was the day after the rain which made the mid-morning so beautiful. Beautiful enough to take my break outside in the 3rd street farmer's market instead of staying in doors to work during lunch

And it was the heavy meal with a friend the night before which made me too full to even eat lunch on this beautiful mid-morning day.

Instead, I had a soy latte with a shot of hazelnut and my book. And something made this non-smoker reach in her bag for a broken Parlaiment from last year's trip to Florida, light up, and inhale.

Thru the swirls of smoke, an old Jewish man, dressed in all browns- brown corduroy, brown plaid, and a brown twill paper boy hat stood looking at me smiling. Shoulders hunched over as he must have been carrying decades on his back.

I raised my eyebrow and gave him a head-nod, again, not like my usual "respect your elders" behavior. Trying to give him the body language that I am not good company at the moment.

Old man: you are too pretty of a girl to look so sad

Me (( squinting one eye as a took a drag, partly to shield my eyes from the smoke and partly to scan him)): (blowing smoke) what makes you think I am sad?

Old man (sitting across from me as I think "oh shit..."): I have lived long enough to know when a woman is sad.

Me ((flicking ashes to the floor)): well, mister, you are mistaken.. I am...
Old man:.. Just make sure it doesn't turn into indifference. The opposite of love is fear. Sadness is a form of fear. If you have that, then you know there is a possibility of love. But if there is indifference, then there is void for both. And it is best to have a chance at love than to have none at all...
Me (shifting in my seat): I'm sorry but...
Old Man: that is the problem of you young people today, esp the women. You don't believe in love. (laughing) I am sorry... I didn’t want it to sound that way. But when I mean "esp women", I mean that nowadays, they tend to not believe in love. Maybe they have been wronged. Maybe they hide in their work. Maybe they ...
Me: find love within themselves?
Old Man: true ... Maybe...

He looks at me:
Old Man: you are loved, you know that?

By this time, I am thinking I was wrong and he is a Christian fundamentalist and is about to say that I need to get saved...

"And you deserve a good good man..."

Oops, now I think he is like my parent, thinking I need a man to save me from my "singleness"

"and I bet you don’t recognize love when it is staring at you in the face because you have been hurt..."

Oh god... He's coming on to me.. And as I was about to give him a smack down.,,

Old Man: oh oh oh ... Not me though. That is not what I mean. I have found the love of my life. Loved her for years and years. Ruby.. That's her name ... Ruby was why I breathed. We were made for each other...

At this point, it was just me and this man. The hustle and bustle of the farmer's market was muffled. Its as if the spot light was just on me, and this little old man dressed in brown.Funny how at this point, I didn't know his name , yet I knew the name of the women who held his heart. And something inside me started to crumble, and I felt light.

Old Man (( snapping out of the world he was in)): just remember, just love. Life has a funny way of working things out. You'll see.

He gets up. And the last thing I kinda heard was "he loves you."

I could have asked "who?" or maybe he meant "He" as in jesus loves you. Or maybe I misheard.

But at that point. I didn’t care. It didn’t matter...

I took my last drag, stepped on the butt of my cigarette, pulled out my pen, and started to write in the inside cover of my book...

No comments: