Yesterday afternoon I met up with my good friend Barbara, who befriended my parents through the Officers Christian Fellowship when we were living in Connecticut in the early 80's. Real early 80's. Like, before I was born 80's. Barbara is an independent, well-traveled, 70-something-yr-old mother and grandmother, who has never met a stranger. We took an hour+ long hike through the woods where I saw the Pennsylvania forests in their last minutes of changing. The trees were looking forward to being dormant for awhile. They told me.
We had dinner at her condo: Barbara, myself, and Andre, her downstairs neighbor. Barbara and Andre are quite a pair. When Barbara first told me she had invited her downstairs neighbor for dinner I imagined an older man, probably in his 50s or 60s, who was quiet, a bit of a homebody, and a diligent worker who was looking forward to retiring in Florida. Couldn't have been more wrong.
Andre is a 36-yr-old single, college-educated, African-American, former male model who appears to be anything but a homebody. Barbara treated him like a long-lost-son, listening diligently to him share his frustrations regarding his parents and dating, and offering sage advice when appropriate. In return, Andre teased her about: being a "cougar", her hearing, and him being able to hear her get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. The three of us played Mexican Train dominoes until about 1am. It was a strange juxtaposition of backgrounds, finding fellowship over a game of dominoes. I loved it.
I'm now awaiting my flight back to Austin, with a layover in Tampa, carrying my bag full of books, and of course, a pair of shoes.