Yesterday I pried open a dusty shoe box and leafed through the mass of photos I took a few years ago, when I was on one of my annual visits to America. There was the gloomy looking apartment building on 15th Street, my very first Allentown residence, and then the house Barbara and I bought on Franklin Street, and then the apartment I lived in after the divorce and my brief involvement with a crazy woman, and then the beautiful town house on Turner Street where my son Steve and I lived for, what? A year or two before everything just fell apart. Again. And Dunkin' Donuts, on Tilghmann Avenue and 15th Street.
She and I sat at a small table. The glare slanted in through the window and made me squint, and it was hard to make out what was in the shadows. Then as now she was beyond my reach. Either unable or unwilling to BE with me in any conventional sense.
As was my habit I quickly finished off the vanilla creme. She was still working on her Danish. She tore off a chunk and offered it to me.
I accepted. She tore off another.
“No, thanks” I said, “I’m full.”
“No. You eat it.”
Her eyes narrowed. “No man ever refuses me.”
I grinned. “Really?”
With a quick motion she dropped it into my half-full coffee cup. It made a faint plopping sound. Well, what choice did I have? I obediently spooned it out, and chewed.
Mushy. Sweet. Utterly delicious.
Afterwards we drove to the south campus of Moravian College, parked in the lot facing Monacacy Creek. She slipped out of her sandals, put her bare foot into my lap. I took hold of her ankle, and held it firmly. For a moment I was the one in charge.
She laughed. "Take a picture," she said.