the young and foolishpublished: 2011-11-18
An elderly lady opens the door to the house a younger lady once lived in. It is a big and stately house. The younger lady apologizes, she just wanted to pick something up.
“Do come in,” says the older lady, “please?”
And so the young lady stands there, absorbing the memories of what once was and no longer is. Is she doing all right for herself? She doubts it, the very moment she steps into her past, she seriously doubts it.
The elderly lady looks even older than before. Her hair needs a cut and a colour, grey roots are visible. It needs a conditioner too. She has withered, it seems. Every part of her body turns inwards, towards her heart.
“So how are you?” She asks the younger lady.
“I’m doing okay,” says the younger lady, “much better now thank you.” She has no right to speak of loss. And when she asks after the older lady’s well-being, she knows she is to take off her coat for a moment.
The older lady’s son died recently. And she hasn’t seen her grandchildren since the funeral.
“And it’s best not to hope that I ever will, do I? What can one do?” Then she says, “nobody knows how it really is. We all understand it’s awful to lose a son. But it’s a million times worse, it really is. The same goes for divorce. Who knows? Who really knows what it’s like? Everyone looks for who’s to blame while there’s only one truth: it’s equally as painful for both inidviduals. Both suffer the same disillusions. When I divorced I felt failure. How was I not able to get this right?”
The younger woman plants a kiss on the older woman’s cheek. She has to get to work. But she stays close to her for a moment, holds on to her briefly, before she leaves.