Watching On An Afternoon
AH, YOUNG LOVE, WELL, MAYBE CLOSER TO MIDDLEAGE LOVE. The two people had to be in their forties, maybe a bit more. But looking at their eyes and body language they could have been teenagers
If there is one thing St. Arbucks is good for, other than filling up that empty lot on the corner, and the odd cup of coffee, it is that it is a good spot for People Watching. And that’s what I did yesterday afternoon.
I was out and about taking care of some errands and I stopped in at the Chapel on 25th Street for a nice iced tea. I sat over in my usual corner, the better to watch the world.
At a table for two across the room I could see a couple who were engrossed in each other, oblivious to the din and the steady flow of people around them. In their world they were alone in a quiet, romantic café.
I sat and watched them for a few minutes and I could see barriers fall and bridges built as those two became closer with each heartbeat. My feeling is that this was the first meeting for these two after an electronic relationship. They had been using E-mail and Facebook to get to know each other as far as that would go. They reached that point where they both felt safe enough to take the next step – to meet and look into each other’s eyes.
This man and woman were mature adults who have been down this road before, had loved and lost, and were understandably afraid of more disappointment and pain.
What I saw in them from my corner told me that enough time had passed and scars healed to allow them the hope that maybe, just maybe, this might be their second chance.
Their words were soft whispers and their hands were nervously fiddling with their cooling cups of coffee. They both were trying very hard to not appear too anxious or forward. They shared their stories. Things that you don’t relive online. I could see eyes glistening with the tears of memories long kept inside
At one point he said something funny and they both laughed in relaxation as another sheet of ice was broken. They could breathe and know that another breath would follow.
Inevitably, she checked her watch. Where had the time gone? I’m sure they felt like they had just sat down.
I watched them say their goodbyes, both wanting there to be more, promising to meet again. He helped her on with her coat, lingering as his arms touched her shoulders. They walked out together toward their separate cars. When they reached the point where he had to turn left and her to the right, they stopped. A few words, a look, and a hug that lasted long enough to send a message that they both understood.
An afternoon, an iced tea, and the start of a new chapter in two people’s lives.