The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

A Love Story At Just Over Five Feet

The elderly couple hunches together over their soup. They stay like this, heads tilted toward each other, even as they finish. The waiter reaches under the bridge of their gaze to withdraw their bowls. They only see each other. The rest of the world has its young posture, but they sit with their elbows in their laps.

Neither fixes the back of their hair, so they also share the reverie of rest.  It’s like the Turkish phrase: Allah sizi bir yastıkta kocatsın. In my vague apologetic translation I’ll say that’s something akin to: may God let you grow old on the same pillow. Or with the same absentminded pillow hair, perhaps.

When they get up to leave, he stands straight and waves across at the waiter. They will see each other again soon. She uses a cane and remains hunched. It is her way.  Half is her highest height.  He comes around to clear a chair from her path. Then, because he loves her, he will also lean down to keep her horizon as they exit into the street.

–Vienna, Austria

old photos, family

My paternal grandparents–not featured in the story, but sweet nonetheless!

9 comments on “A Love Story At Just Over Five Feet

  1. Alastair
    May 1, 2013

    So sweet

  2. joannerambling
    May 1, 2013

    I am lucky that I have watched my grangparents grow old together as well as my parents

  3. Maccabros
    May 1, 2013

    We all can lear from those people, who realy live love for a lifetime…

  4. Eda
    May 2, 2013

    “Keep her horizon”? Well put.

  5. Mandy Kunzman
    May 2, 2013


  6. Imelda
    May 2, 2013

    How beautiful. What a sweet love they have.

  7. carolinebotwin
    June 5, 2017

    This is even more delightful because my husband and I are reaching that point!!!

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