I was in a neighborhood bistro having a salad, when a very rattled woman came in.
I watched her dart around the restaurant like the Secret Service finally choosing a table adjacent to mine easily seating 6. Suddenly two other women came also carrying concerned expressions, clearly making certain all was perfect.
A few minutes later the scene took shape when a lady in her 70s approached the door on a walker, an attendant by her side, eerily unwell. I watched her friends greet her warmly with hugs and kisses, trying valiantly to hide their grief I imagine, realizing, this would probably be the last time they’d be together.
Oddly enough, the guest of honor was the only one who seemed peaceful and happy to just be there with her pals.
They were all dressed in blazers and crisp slacks, white linen buttondowns brandishing pearls, that if could only talk, while vintage Fendis swung from their arms.
One woman, a little heavy-set, wore a forest green suit with what looked like, an Hermes scarf, tied loosely around her neck, apparently a gift of yore from the woman they were celebrating.
They dressed up for their friend whose white hair danced in the overhead light, she in a purple twinset attempting to mask her withered frame. Layers are like smoke and mirrors remembering how my mother advised me, wear pleats Susannah, you’ll look less scrawny.
When the wine started to flow the sadness took flight, as they toasted one another reminiscing about their lives. It was like watching a very poignant play you already knew the end to.
At one point, the white haired woman turned to me, smiling, raising her glass.
“To life,” she said. I’ve had a great one.”
I smiled back, paid my check and wept all the way home, her message braying loudly…life’s short.
Enjoy it…enjoy it.