Saturday, February 20, 2010

oh henry

she's old.
she has old eyes, and old hair, and old vocal chords that rasp and crackle as she talks.
she has an old english accent and an old brooch.
she has an old purse which she clasps tightly with old gnarled hands.
i like her.
she's telling me about her and henry, and how happy they were, and about how she moved to canada when she was 25 years old and had to leave henry behind.
i'm playing with my shoelaces and listening intently, trying to imagine what she would have looked like when she was 20, what henry looked like, how i'll look when i'm her age.
"when the war was over, i sent for henry. he came over on a boat with some friends of my family..."
she sighs and lifts a shaky old hand to make sure her earrings are still in her ear lobes.
"...but the boat was torpedoed and my henry died..."
whoa. that sucks.
how sad is that? she looks like she is going to cry just thinking about it. i notice the old wedding ring on her left hand. she drops her gaze and starts rifling around in her old purse for some kleenex. i'm at a loss. i'm not really sure what to say. i think a simple, "i'm sorry," would've done very nicely at that point in the conversation but at the moment my mind just kind of flatlines and i stammer out, "so...henry is...was henry your husband?"
she smirks.
"HEAVENS, no! henry was my dog."
good grief.


JTay said...

Seriously, you need to write a book. A book full of your best stories like these. I don't know why I'd need your book when I have your blog, but for some reason I think "these are good enough to be in a book."

elena (a.k.a. suzy) said...

why thank you justine. :) compliments from you are golden, cuz you're just so dang awesome at everything!