Friends in the cake line


He has Einstein hair, but not in color: it’s dark still, matching the thick mustache and the coffee-brown jacket he wears loose on his stooped shoulders.

Even standing, he has the posture of an academician. Years of study, bent over pages or keyboards, have slowly changed his body.

He has Einstein hair, but he’s inordinately proud of the purple-and-blue streaks in his wife’s graying hair.

“This is news-worthy, see?” and he flips the dyed strands out, so I can see.

It’s the juxtaposition, I guess – she’s an attorney with purple-dyed hair. We’re in line for cake at a political event I’m covering for work. They recognized me from last year.

Last year I shared their table, and she told me about quilting and he talked books and politics, but too quiet to hear.

And in an effort to connect over common ground, I told her that I’ve quilted before, years ago, in high school.

He told me to read “It can’t happen here.”

And I did — though I didn’t finish; the book came through inter-library loan and I didn’t have time to finish before it was due back. She invited me to the next several quilting events, but I didn’t go.

I don’t have a quilting project, or room or time or money for one, so I thanked her for the invitations and let it go.

I recognized them immediately last night, and almost crossed the room to greet them, but probably, I thought, they won’t remember me. And I didn’t want to fess-up to not finishing the professor’s recommended book.

But she saw me in the line for the carrot cake and stretched out a hand to greet me and I’m sorry, now, that I haven’t gone to any of her events.

We part to go back to our tables. He didn’t mention the book.

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Filed under Notebook sketches, People

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