THEIR FIRST DATE
All The Different Ways That Love Shows Up
A Very Short Shortstory
I am such a lucky man and lucky therapist. I am NOT that together person, I once thought I could be, nor will I ever be, nor do I want to be! I humbly acknowledge I am just me, with my life literally, visibly scattered about me, parts of it even broken. And yet somehow, people trust me enough to share with me the gifts of their lives and love for each other. I have bits and pieces of so many lives, stored in a treasure chest in my alleged mind. As I walked my morning walk, this fictional "minimalistic" story blossomed, triggered by an old couple, earlier this week, sharing with me how they came to love each other.
THEIR FIRST DATE
Usually, they enjoyed sitting next to each other in the booth, so he could smell her hair and she could feel his body, still strong, still able to hold her, really hold her.
They did not anticipate leaving each other any time soon. They just knew the realities of life and someday one of them would go home before the other. He used to tease her.
"If you get there first, get the best place you can find. You know, on a cliff, overlooking infinity. Remember the place at Coral Bay? One like that. Or remember the cabin awkwardly teetering on the side of Mount Corazon?"
So this morning, they sat facing each other, peering far beyond each other’s eyeballs, to those places deep within each other where they had shared moments, as the song described, of delights, but more than just afternoon delights. They sipped their coffee loudly, each battling to make the loudest slurp. They laughed and then came tears and then more laughter.
"Do you remember our first date?" she asked. "I remember you wanting to take me to a fancy restaurant, but I insisted on a picnic. I remember we had salad with bleu cheese sprinkles. I remember you feeding me and the bleu cheese crumples jumping off the fork like little bits of popcorn. I remember telling you how much I liked the wine, and at first you didn’t get it because we had no wine! You’re slow sometimes! But then you pointed to your heart and said you gently squeezed it from here. You blushed, and so I called it hearty blush wine! Do you remember that?"
With gentle tears of sheer raw love spilling over his bottom eyelids, he took the biggest slurp of coffee he could, just to make them both laugh, enough to hold back a noisy flood.
"O my God, I do remember," he choked. "But I always thought our first date was that dream you had of us sitting together in front of the fireplace in our pajamas!"
She reached across the table and touched his cheek. "I have never forgotten that dream. And so, yes, we can put that picture in the ‘photo album’ under first date."
"So are you guys ready to order?" the waitress asked.
They didn’t hear her. They were someplace else. The waitress wondered if perhaps they both had some kind of what? Dementia or something? She hesitated for a moment and then cleared her throat. "So are you guys ready to order?"
He looked at the waitress and asked, "Do you have anything on the menu that looks like her?"
Before the waitress could answer, she said, "I’ll have him."
Through some miracle of the universe, the waitress got it. And she said, "Do you want him sunnyside up or over easy? And yes, we do have something on the menu that looks exactly like her and would you like that ala carte or as a meal?"
When the morning service at Hart’s Café was concluded, they sauntered home, leaning against each other, like two drunks after a night on the town.
"So we discovered our first date. Which one was this?" she asked.
"I know it’s not our second, he said. But it kind of feels like it!"
"So what were all those others in between?"
"I guess they were seconds too."