It happens at a Souplantation (which is a Daily Lastima all unto itself.) She is talking excitedly. He is just smiling. We trek through the endless lines of salad bar and potato bar and soup bar and bread bar and dessert bar (and ohmygod, I was so tired by the end - how many bars does one person NEED?!) We plop our trays down and sit, but before he can dig in, before he can put the fork-full of Cesar into his mouth, she stops him and pulls it out of her purse.
Pink Purell. He winces but does not protest. He’s been here before. He just obeys. On his face I see a slight trace of hesitation, of rebellion. I see someone who might even dare hate pink. But he opens his palms and he squirts. And she approves. And my heart aches at their exchange. And my mind screams, “This is love!” This is what forty years of partnership looks like. You just open your hand and pump pink stuff.
Me sitting across from two people I adore - a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, an east coast pair of gems. Them Purelling and eating and laughing. But I’m too busy lastima-ing to join in. And besides, I’m so damn full.
p.s. Is it weird that I keep dreaming about the bread bar?