To the couple in the park last Friday - 74 (Suffolk Co, Long Island (if it matters))
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Date: 2008-05-06, 10:46PM EDT
Wandering around the park last Friday in the grey afternoon, and I saw the two of you there, on the observation deck that juts out into the pond. The female of your pairing was a tallish redhead with a full shapely figure wearing a camera around her neck and a blue jean jacket; you, the male - and I suppose I'm really writing this to you - you stood about eight inches taller (say 6'4" or so?) with a dark jacket and closely cropped hair. Silvering evenly. I'd guess you were both in your mid-40's? You might be a bit older than your friend.
(We were a party of three "older" people. I say that because surely everyone not our age sees us as older or elder, a term that makes me shudder. We're in our 70's but in no way elderly!) We stepped onto the deck where you and your friend were talking, (it was actually your laughing that made us take notice of the deck), and though my wife thought I was listening to her share details of the local nesting pairbonded wild fowl it was you two to whom I was tuned in. Your conversation was more interesting and, well, I'm an eavesdropper at heart.
Between my wife's loving migration informative (which repeats every spring, 45 years in October) I heard soundbites of your conversation but never really caught the full dialogue. I wish I had. I would have loved to offer you some advice - but free advice has such a bad rap these days. Today, days later, I wish I'd said something to you.
"... don't know how I got myself into this. Again."
"You look good."
"So do you. It has been a long time."
"I'm glad you came."
"She has taken taxi's to the liquor store! And wrecked, now, two cars! What am I supposed to do?"
"Have you seen your folks recently?"
"My family is worried about me."
"Because they love you, that's why..."
"My therapist tells me she'll never change, there'll be other lies, another relapse.... I just don't know."
"You're not married to her... are you...?"
"So if you were to exit it wouldn't be as tricky if you were, you know, married?"
"I drive her to work. I play taxi."
"When does she own up and take responsibility for herself and her actions?"
"Don't you feel you deserve better?"
"Listen, I can't stay the whole time.... I have to get back. I'm sorry."
And there were things said about your work, her children (child?), and what sounded like bittersweet regret and the hope of possibility. You sounded like old friends in easy conversation, close and caring... there was something else but I couldn't define it.
Secretly I was hoping to myself you were lovers. The attraction you had was obvious from afar; it was tangible at closer range.
If it were acceptable I would have turned to you both and told you to get off your butts and stop being so "nice." The time to live and love is now! Unite and live together as a couple in love and support. Son, if you could see the way that woman looks at you when you're speaking.... it's what made me choose my wife, and why we're together, and why I love her like no other: we click. We always have. She listens. She loves me, and she accepts my flaws and the stupid mistakes of my past.
You have something there, guy. If you asked me I'd say you're a fool to let your life be run by someone whose own life is out of control. Make peace with the drinking woman but leave her to her own life. (Trust me on this one. You can't change her. And you can't love or pray or demand her to stop using her drugs or stop drinking.) Do something better with your time, son. Any guy'd be drop-dead euphoric to have your lady friend as a date, mate, lover. Open your eyes, son.
Open your eyes.
- Location: Suffolk Co, Long Island (if it matters)
- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
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