“… but I think they should get married.” said the old woman closest to me. “She shouldn’t be alone!”
The young blond woman in the chair furthest away in the clump of three dug into her Michael Kors bag lying on the middle chair, looked up staring in disbelief at the old woman with a facial expression that said this type of thinking is absurd. “So what if she’s alone,” she blurted while checking an incoming text on her phone, “she can discover herself for a change instead of defining herself with a man.”
I studied the older woman who I guessed was about 80 years of age as I tried not to be noticed while I fiddled with my camera strap and continued my observation. Her hair was dry white straw cut loose with little if any conditioning product. She dressed plainly, but neatly with a red and gold silk scarf that hugged her neck. I continued to eavesdrop as she twisted a gold ring on her gnarled finger. She squeezed her hands a little tighter together and sighed, “What’s to discover? She’s old enough, and much wiser than her years. She needs to explore the world with another old soul.” She picked at one of her chipped painted nails.
Again, the younger woman answered a “bing” on her cellphone. She typed on the tiny screen like she was physically trying to pound it into submission. “Mother. Where do you come up with this nonsense?” she shot back without making eye contact.
The mother stared blankly into the distance. Her narrow eyes glistened with water deep inside her pale cracked lids. She licked her chapped lower lip, bit it, then stood up and stumbled slightly as she turned and walked away nearly knocking over the wooden chair.
The daughter continued typing on her phone as she too bit her lower lip. She rolled her eyes then looked around. She tossed her phone into the bag, stood up, and turned sharply as her heels scraped loudly. Her quick footsteps echoed across the cavernous Conservatory floor.