Sunday, July 19, 2020

Revisiting a Fond Memory [191]

James sat in his padded wheelchair, looking at nothing with an angelic expression.

"Did I ever tell you about my honeymoon?" he asked the attendant who was carefully cleaning the room.

"No, never," she lied. It wasn't like she had to pay attention.

"Oh, it was wonderful. Beth and I went to Italy and got to explore all over. Our favorite little spot was a restaurant just off the piazza and away from the crowd. After a few days they knew our tastes and surprised us with something new and interesting every day after. It was wonderful."

"Did you ever go back?" A moment of grief passed the man's face before it vanished with a forced smile.

"No, no. We had every intention of going back someday, but the kids came along, then the grand-kids, then Beth got sick and, well-" the old man trailed off as he considered his life for a moment. As with many of us, the downs made the highlight reel more often than the ups. Sensing the spiral, the attendant stepped in.

"What kind of pizza did you say it was?"

This snapped James back to both the present and his honeymoon. He described in great detail the pizzas, the pastas, and all the other wonderful food he'd had all those decades ago in the little restaurant off the square he liked in Italy. He made a couple passes through wines and even mentioned a competing restaurant or two before winding down his story.

"Thank you Mister James," the attendant said, finishing up her duties.

"Always lovely to talk with you, my dear," the old man replied.

The attendant gathered up her supplies and prepared to move to the next room. She paused before leaving.

"James," she said. "It's pizza night in the cafeteria."

She left.

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