Caleb rented a car, and took me to the ocean today, for my birthday. Everything was grey, even his sweater, and before sunset, there were strips of pale yellow.
On our way back home, we had dinner at Gino’s in Bay Ridge, amongst a crowd of early diners—octogenarians, the faithfully wed, the couples from church, and a Japanese man with a carafe of wine.
At the table next to us, a tiny lady, no more than a 4 1/2 feet tall, finished her meal, her white hair picked in a perfect coiffure. From the back of her chair, she gathered her red wool bouclé coat.
Across my lap, Caleb reached for my hand, and dropped in my palm a purple velvet sack. Inside was a brooch from the 1960s, pink, blue, and lavender. Opalescent, all three, and luminescent.
He pinned it to me. For my lady, he said. The tiny woman brushed passed us as he pulled his hands away from my sweater, and caught my eye. She smiled at me proudly, and then made her way through the maze of tables, her head held high, her arm entwined with that of her daughter’s, slightly taller.
The vintage brooch, the old New York italian joint, the tiny lady, the pearls on my wrist. My beau. The year of my life that passed today, and became one older. I was transported.