Monday, November 28, 2011


What struck me first about him was his facial hair. Specifically, his enormous bushy eyebrows. White, wiry, with flecks of pepper - mutant hoary caterpillars wriggling across a severe landscape. They added emphasis to his expressions and were quite the signature of his visage. Impressive. Somewhat frightening.
She didn't look at first like she should be with him, because he was obviously in his seventies, though still erect and trim.
She looked no more than late forties, very early fifties at most.
Short, shapely, blonde.
Very much younger.
And much smaller.

I was flabbergasted to find out that they had been together for over thirty years. Was she his second wife? Trophy with a brain?
A woman with a maturity thing going on?
Had he as a dashing middle-aged man robbed the cradle or raided a high school?
These were the questions I thought, but did not voice.

As it turns out, she was only eight years younger than her husband.
Obviously, I am a lousy judge of a woman's age.
Some people just sparkle.

Though they acted like two fully formed unique individuals, with independent thought processes and very different tastes and interests, it was clear that they had long grown suited to each other. Perhaps they hadn't started that way, but over the years they had worn soft spots that formed an even fit. They were, it became more and more obvious, completely adapted to their relationship, and well-matched.
They had met, they had married, they had become a couple.
How did two people come to be so perfect together?

Talking with them I didn't know on whom to focus my attention. Now one led the conversation, now the other. And they completed each other's sentences at times, or elucidated meanings and expanded thereupon.
Naturally I tried to draw them out.
Interesting twosome.
No, they didn't both want to be there. At least not in equal measure. They had come to the smoking lounge after a show (her choice), and he had needed a cigar before they went to dinner. She sipped wine, he drank straight single malt.
She did not smoke at all, and actually rather disliked the filthy habit.
His eyes were hardly visible beneath excessive brow-shrubbery.
Her eyes sparkled expressively, evocatively.
He had wit. She had insight.
They had passion.

I cannot really remember everything we talked about. Largely that is because between the two of them my input was often limited to commentary and reaction. They were electrically alive, involved with each other and with everyone around them. The conversation was fully engaging, and at times roped in several different people and trains of thought.
Hard to recall, however. I was involved, but it was their show.
An enchanting ride but dizzying for stray participants.
There are times when despite your own generous pissantness you must necessarily yield to the vibrancy of others, and two people of that age who are still so brim-full of vim and vigour...... well, you have to respect that.
Not just at that age, at any age. But especially at that age.
Let them lead. They're fascinating.

I've met them there a couple of times. Each time they surprised me anew. Fully developed characters, and yet so smoothly suited to each other.

They say that maturity wears off the rough edges. Perhaps it does.
It doesn't mean any loss of flavour, however.
Inherent qualities improve.

Suffice to say I'm somewhat envious.
For any number of reasons.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Charming I'm sure.


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