My wife and I went out Friday night. It has been awhile. Lack of being alone together is one of the known side effects of child introduction. Another known side effect is drowsiness. We were cognizant of the fact that we would be at the edge of the ocean of drowsy. We were not sure what to do. We had discussed some options: art gallery opening, movie, restaurant. So with knowledge of said known side effects, there is a tacit agreement to leave it open. Included in this agreement is the likelihood there would be only one stop. Most of our time spent outside of work is meting out energy to cover the needs of our children. As we stood in line at an Italian restaurant we had not visited before but would speak about cursorily in the fashion of placing it on a mental sticky note for later reference it became the backdrop for us catching up. I am not complaining. Our coats were checked, and we were escorted to our table. We remarked how the menu was on one page. I liked that too. We ordered pizza. We heard and read the pizza there was the real deal. My brother had introduced us to its day old pizza one afternoon. The memory of that tasting became smeared on the aforementioned mental sticky note. We had a laugh with the waitress when we mentioned we’ve had their day old pizza. She seemed confused at first stating they don’t serve day old pizza.
We talked about the children. We compared various serial murder > catch the killer > forensic investigation series and the characters. We were unanimous in our choice of the original CSI (Grissom era) as our favourite based on the interplay between the central characters and the quality of the acting. At least for me it is.
We talked about death. She thought organ donation was not for her. Her organs that is. I recalled hearing a radio interview with a woman who upon her death wanted her body to be left in the forest to return to the earth, left to the elements and wild animals for consumption.
We did not talk much about work. I reminded her about a previous conversation we had regarding an elderly man and his wife involved in a motor vehicle collision. The man was in her work area waiting for x-rays. Broken this, broken that. The wife had passed. He had no other family. She had remarked how hard it would be to recover. I remember saying recovery would be difficult without a reason to live. She said that it was quite common for surviving husbands or wives to pass away shortly after the death of a spouse. I divulged I recently found out a person I had become acquainted with through work passed away. Lorna had been married to a very nice man who would always greet me with a smile and a lightness of spirit. His name was Duncan. Duncan would always say there was no use in complaining because nobody listens anyway. I remember later trying that on my chiropractor and he looked at me bemusedly and said: “but that’s my job”.
Duncan had cancer but you would never know it. Other than the observation that our meetings became less frequent; on those rarer occasions we would exchange pleasantries he was ever jovial. “How are you doing Patrick? :)) I’m good Duncan, how are you? Never better, never better! You know I could complain, but nobody listens anyway!” 🙂 And then he would pat me lightly on the shoulder with a wry smile and a twinkle in his eyes. And then he would stroll away. I did not know until he died that he was so sick. The truth is I did not want to know even though my mind considered that possibility whenever I would see him move a little more slowly on the less than handful of dwindling occasions left where we would reacquaint each others hello. The last time I ever saw him, he was driving out of the underground parking garage. In the dim fluorescent haze of the garage he drove toward the slowly lifting parking garage gate. The sunlight was streaming in from the other side. He was driving away in his sports sedan, sunglasses on, Lorna at his side. Their faces to the sun.
My wife said it made her feel special that I had made the arrangements for us to go out. Highlight. Mark it off.