A customer brought me flowers today.
He said it was a gift for the new year. No one has given me flowers in over ten years, maybe longer.
I almost cried.
He has this infectious laugh that feels like home. The first time I met him, I heard him laugh before I ever saw his face. I knew I was going to love him then. His laugh feels like an old house that smells faintly of mothballs and cornbread where a western is always playing on the TV and his favorite chair is covered in an afghan his wife made 40 years ago. His laugh makes you want to sit at the foot of his recliner with a glass of cornbread and milk and watch those westerns with him all day long while his wife knits a scarf for you to take with you before you leave.
I never knew how much I loved pink roses before today.
Shortly after that, the new employee asked me how old I was. ‘Old,’ I told her. She persisted. ‘I’ll never tell you,’ I said. I’m not even sure myself. I have to think about it and then I have to go dig around for my birth certificate and get my bifocals out to look at the date, then I call my mom or my dad or both just to confirm it’s right.
She said, ‘you’re only about 29 or 30 though, right?’
God bless you. Here. Put these bifocals on. You need them worse than me.
I almost made out with her and gave her a raise all at the same time.
I do NOT look 29 or 30, by the way, so don’t go getting excited over there.
Her people must not age well is all I can figure.
A song playing in the background while I write this to you:
There’s a hole in the roof for the stars to fall in
I gather them up for you
Fill up my pockets, start walking again
Bringing these stars to you
I wish I could bring all the stars to you. I’d pull them out of my pocket one at a time to show you how they pale in comparison to you. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you so I’m going to arrange them all in a circle here around you so you’ll see.
P.S. You told me one time, or more than that, that I wasn’t allowed to send you ‘clarifying’ post scripts. So I’m not going to clarify my words to you yesterday. I’m going to let them stand because sometimes I feel so heavy with the burden of this loss, I don’t know what else to do but let the words spill out of my head. I hope you will understand.