Thursday, August 05, 2004

"..the mother and child reunion is only a motion away"

Andrew and Christopher have been to Kirk Theatre Drama Boot Camp this week, preparing for the fall production of Peter Pan, directed by an amazing person, Carole Ferris-Greer. "Never grow old and never grow up" was the message of the story, as far as I can remember.

As a surprise tonight I decided to take them out for pizza. We were seated in the restaurant. The boys were drinking "Shirley Temples" a new and exciting discovery for them and I sipped on a diet coke. For a short time they rehearsed their lines for their performance tomorrow. We didn't expect to witness an unfolding drama at the next table.

Two elderly ladies were receiving their food. It was elegantly served by a gracious waitress. Their interaction over the course of the meal was drama indeed. Conversation at our table ceased, as theirs dominated ours. A frustrated petulant domineering voice uttered derisory comment after comment to a fragile looking senior in her 80's. "That is not a salad plate. It is a bread plate" "Have you forgotten how to eat?" "What are you doing? What are you doing?" I could see perfectly well what the lady was doing. She was looking in disbelief at the face of her dinner companion. She said nothing but her eyes revealed such pain and sadness. It was heart wrenching to observe.

"I'm so tired tonight. I feel so fat. I'm sorry. Let's start over. Yes, let's start over". It was clear that there would be little time to make amends and wipe the slate clean.

It must have been impossible for the much maligned lady to enjoy a morsel of food. Her eyes were dewy and downcast. Her left hand supported the burden of her forehead. She continued with dignity but it was clear she was waiting for it to be over. The check arrived and the malcontent read it. It passed ungraciously to the other lady. With age comes fragility and the loss of confidence. She fumbled in her purse for money. Her dentures, unsettled in her mouth, trembled. The check was settled.

The pair manoeuvred their way out from the table. The visage, visible for the first time, looked exactly as I had imagined. For the duration of the meal I could only see the back of the assailant's head. Her face displayed a gnarled ugliness which would prove difficult to remove, even with Botox technology. It came from within. The older lady was much slower to pass by. As she did, she stopped for a moment and spoke to me. "Enjoy them while they are young. When they get older it is a different thing altogether"


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