She moved very slowly and awkwardly. The old Five Points sidewalk didn't help as she struggled to move her legs and push her walker towards the little Thai restaurant. She seemed young but whatever cruel disease had attacked her made her move as if she was an old woman. He was older than her but seemed weathered, like he might work outside. I held the door for them as I walked in to meet my wife and friends for dinner. The Thai staff knew them and called out their name as soon as they saw them, they were regulars. They sat them at a big round table with a white tablecloth right by the door.
We ate, laughed, and enjoyed wonderfully spicy Thai food.
As we left, the couple - I don't know if they were married, friends, or family - were sitting in a round table by the big glass window looking out over Five Points. There was hardly anyone left in the kitschy Asian restaurant. As we made our way to the door, I could hear the man talking. Not conversational talking, it had a different cadence to it. I looked toward them sitting at the table - she was a little hunched over, it was obvious whatever disease she had must have ravaged her small body. He held a paperback book in front of him next to his water glass. He was reading to her.
I hope I'm that guy for just one hour of my life.
I have that image in my mind's eye even now. This couple, framed by the big glass window, reading to one another in the kitschy Thai restaurant on a warm November night in Alabama. People coming and going, passing this couple as he reads to her at the table the laughter like music over his voice reading from the paperback book. Like a slow-motion scene in a movie. Maybe just a short film I will make one day?