I had to reach back into my archives – four months, or so – to relive a blessed feel good moment in my life. It was an afternoon I will never again get with the lady who sat across from me during that beautiful, lovely afternoon in State College, Pa. A limited menu was offered to us. Two. A pair with unlimited possibilities for humor, music musings, and sweet couple words. The restaurant, “The Corner Room”, wasn’t aware of our silliness. Half-drapes in the window, overlooking a lightly attended summer session sidewalk, kept a summer sun off our tea as Old Main sat off in the distance.
We waited patiently for sandwiches and appetizers. What else was there to do? An afternoon in May. Two wonderers sitting comfortably among others who had their own wondering to do. I looked around, but nothing … no one … caught my attention more than the one sitting across from me in a high, dark vinyl booth.
I think it was her hair this time, although not always the case. Her eyes and smile could hook me in, too. Against the backdrop of a very accomodating, hugging booth (one I was becoming very jealous of, for the record), those golden locks bounced off my afternoon delight. Leaving me no choice, I parted from a semi-sweet tea to imprint this picture on my late spring, early summer’s soul:
Black and white. Simple. Complementary colors holding my hand during pre-lunch moments. Sandwiches hadn’t arrived yet. We were hungry. Even the appetizers were somewhere different than in our prior two-hours, walk-around town, empty bellies. Still, with those grinding away inside, we chuckled the time away.
There was no time limit on my preoccupation. It could have been two minutes or two days. She sat across from me before that day in other restaurants … in other cities … patiently caressing the time with me for meals taking longer than normal. Those times were endless fascinations as well.
Yes, no finish date at all on any of the words, at any time, with any fare on any plate in front of us. As far as that May day, I can smell the chicken sandwich with sides finally arriving along with roast beef au jus. Appetizers did come – spinach dip with chips – prior to those lunch munchies. A waitress, seldom seen, blessed us with her absence. Teas didn’t need refilling, plates were full until they weren’t, and two booth dwellers had a glorious feast … one for his eyes, the other for her tummy.
During this long exhale of our time together, a “today memory” I adore had to be written.
I will never have that chance again with Greta. Hundreds of pictures, but not bubbly-blonde booth dates from now on in familiar towns and restaurants. I will see nice, sunny days through café curtains again, for sure, but not across from someone like her. Smiles, eyes, hair, voice, and personality wrapped up in her is a once-in-a lifetime menu choice.
A corner room and corner table I had to revisit today. Life is black and white when it comes to a sweet woman I love and adore. Color through a camera lens and street window frames an afternoon I never want to forget.
Choose your moments wisely. Four months, or so, goes by quickly when you think more time is easily within your grasp.
Maybe our lunch was good? I don’t remember.
Time spent together that day? I will cherish forever.