There’s nothing like snappy wit to snap you out of your gloom. I was sitting at a cafe enjoying the last remnants of an autumn morning when I overheard some very racy repartee.
An attractive couple were dueling over household expenses. They could have been Hammett’s Nick and Nora Charles the way they quipped to one another which made me lean in for their next matinee.
She was stunning at sixty I’d say, with a French styled suit hugging her still smokin curves. What’s a French styled suit? A well tailored skirt and jacket in a soft fabric that’s been lovingly worn as a signature piece fitting like a glove. Hers was sea blue. When she took the jacket off draping it behind her cafe chair without so much as a glance, her sleeveless shell clung a bit, revealing the bones of a very alluring brassiere. It didn’t seem to matter that her arms had lost their youthful tone and if I didn’t hear her so clearly, I would have sworn she was French woman.
He was nattily dressed in smoky gray with a red silk hankie peeking from his jacket pocket, a striped bow-tie giggling at his neck. I love them. My friend Ed always wears one that makes him look playful and just a tad naughty even before opening his mouth. Sparkly cuff links graced the table as he sweetly called her a spendthrift.
“I have never met anyone who can spend quite as fast as you darling. My hard earned money is barely cold before it’s out of your hands.”
“Oh, how you exaggerate. You know I heat every bill before folding it in my wallet.”
I loved that. They were dripping with affectionate criticism of one another as she said, “Screw coffee…ask them for a wine list…won’t ya dear…I did leave you a a coupla twenties.”
My kinda girl.
“It’s only 10 in the morning my darling, don’t you think we might wait a bit?”
“You’re right,” she said combing the menu. “Okay, that’s long enough…WAITER.”
I fell in love with her, especially when she pulled out a cigarette just to annoy him. “Don’t do that,” he sang. “You know they’ll come rushing over while everyone in our midst will have a fit.”
“Lettem eat cake, ” she snapped, “given the nice selection.”
As she put her Newport back in its pack she ordered a glass of wine I had never heard of with ironically a slice of Marie Antoinette’s Cranberry Royal. When the waiter came over to me, I ordered the same. I figured it would help the essay I’d write the second I got home. They were dream characters with visual sass I never could have dreamed up myself.
Did I mention she wore seamed stockings? Yes, she could have been Myrna Loy in The Thin Man easily.
“I think I’ll order real food,” Nick said to the waiter who was tapping his black Nike like he was about to break out in song, “anything you recommend?”
“Have a Louis VI.”
“The Jambon Baguette with shredded Swiss…that’s French for ham.”
“Oh he knew that,” Nora said, “he knows what ham means in at least ten languages…all hams do.”
“Pay no attention to her, they’ve just let her out for the day.”
That made me laugh out loud, especially when she laughed too.
Who said you’re still not in love at 60?
They defied every rule…extinguishing all rumors, and when I found myself back on the street, thanks to them…
my gloom had lifted.