By Bianca Ozeri
We met as children. With our backs to one another. And we spoke generically, like adults, of the heat, and the drunken homeless men, and how sweet the candy would taste if only we had a nickel. It would be weeks till he found the change to buy me a piece, and years that we perched ourselves on that corner, like rare birds, waiting for age to catch up to consciousness.
We drank pop that we clutched at the bottleneck and clanked together at the bases. Toasting because that’s what we ought to do. Right? We quickened a childhood by loving to soon; pocked our shoulders, claiming indifference to a sun we thought could never hurt.
On a walk home our strides became wider and the sun, for the first time, a worthy opponent. I carried an umbrella. He told me of his painful shoes on his growing feet, and how my hair had gotten longer. How he was going to be taller than I soon. I told him he would never be taller than my hair, and upon that he smiled, and we agreed.
He did become taller though. Soon. As he said. I grew out of my blue tights and he grew into his belly. We saw winter; and loved it. We strolled silently, believing in contentedness and unaware of complacency.
I began to read books and he the paper. In some months we switched, and in some more we switched back. And soon we switched every morning, in a living room, over children, and rings that clanked against wooden chairs.
Before I could possibly imagine, more was to be remembered than would come: a trip to Venice and one to Asia; seeing the circus for the first time, and war for the second. Dancing. Days we didn’t speak that stuck out like beautiful scars on skin. And how we met back to back, beside locked up candy, before the fortuitous future that we couldn’t yet know.
It was only then, when time had claimed us for his own, that I decided to stay for good. A timeless, irreversible tradition we were. Like wearing black to a funeral.
This is the first post by intern Bianca, and I think that it’s a great love story for Valentine’s Day (albeit a sad one). It reminds me of the movie “Up,” which is equally as wistful and heartbreakingly beautiful. All images were also chosen by Bianca, who has proven, through her research both for me and for her stories, to have great taste.