I was walking towards the park holding his hand. This wasn’t getting serious, but I liked holding his hand. I liked the idea of being serious, just not with him. I think it was the way he chewed his food that screamed “Don’t marry him.” Regardless of the fact we had no future, holding hands was fun. I would pretend we had been together for years and this was one of our routine outings. After this we would go look at furniture for our new home, and then go back home to finish some do-it-yourself project. It was the best fantasy marriage.
We had been walking for about half and hour when I spotted this old woman at a distance. She was sitting on a bench with a small black purse full of red yarn. She had a bag of bread crumbs for the pigeons. There must have been dozens of pigeons around her. They were a cloud of black smoke surrounding her. It was magical, creepy and quite comical all at the same time.
As soon as the old woman’s face was clearly visible to us, I felt him get nervous. Something about the woman unnerved him. He suddenly let go of my hand to cover his face. All at once he began weeping; he was out of breath. I remember feeling embarrassed at first. What could possibly posses him to such a spectacle? The old woman was just as stupefied with his behavior as I was. Once my embarrassment subsided, I became confused. Why was I with this man? This man had nothing to offer; we had no future. As his tears became stronger, I knew it was time to leave, to flee this circus-like show.
To this day, I do not know what happened. Once I turned and walked away, I lost all contact. He never called nor was I interested in his phone call. It was as if with those tears he wiped clean both our lives and we started over. Sometimes I still imagine him walking around the park before going to a do-it-yourself store with his wife. I can never see the face of this woman, but I also know it isn’t me. Perhaps it is the old woman who was sitting on the bench that sunny afternoon.