I was standing in line in the grocery store the other day, holding my usual piddling amount of provisions ("Why don't you ever buy a full basket like everyone else? Freak.") I never have any patience stuck in a line, waiting for the spotlight of fraud to shine upon me. Even the most innocuous question could devastate me. ("Hey, what do you do for a living?" "Slave labor and depression. You?" ) I'm never so isolated as when I'm with others.
Fidgeting in self-pity, I notice an elderly couple ahead of me. Immediately, I try to engender some sort of hatred against them. Probably twisted and conservative over the years, bet their motto is 'Never trust anyone under 55'. Sorry old fuckers spreading bitterness and braindead propaganda against anyone who can think. Why are these people even alive? Then I actually bothered to look at them.
The old guy was sprightly and teasing his mate. Kind of reminded me of teasing my sister when I was a kid. From the look on her face you could tell this scene of endearment had played out countless times before. I could easily picture them in their twenties with that same twinkle in their eyes. My God. They are amazing! Of course, part of me was heartbroken at the sight of something I can never know. But I knew these two were superstars, having found love and kept it alive for decades - for all time. How often do you see that?
When they die, their obituaries will read like any other couple who is praised for reaching death while married. I thought of Debby and reflected on how her entire life was devoted to that final moment of praise, declaring her existence a success. Yes, Debby's fraud marriage and the superstar marriage of the couple in front of me will read the same in the black and white of the newspaper, but when the Final Day comes these two couplings will be revealed for what they are: total opposites.