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Point of View: Playing Hooky

Wed, 06/19/2024 - 11:57

From June 5, 2019

The other day, having almost given up, none of the clothes in the stores having caught my eye, I saw something, a light blue shirt, extra small, with a collar and partly rolled sleeves, that I thought might look very well on her, her eyes being dark blue and her hair dark brown and as long as I can persuade her to keep it.

It’s exceedingly rare that anything I get for her birthday, or for Christmas, for that matter, fits — a fact rendered all the more unalterable given that everything her older sister has ever given her has fit perfectly.

I told the saleswoman this, and that since it undoubtedly would be returned, asked if we couldn’t get a store credit, which she said we could, so, boldly, I went ahead, and added a bead bracelet too.

Not unexpectedly, she was dubious on unwrapping it this birthday morning, though appreciative of the effort. Usually, such shirts hung too low on her, she said, something I hadn’t even thought of, as attracted as I had been by the color, there having been little that was colorful in the stores I’d been in.

Then she fiddled a bit with the sleeves, put it on, buttoned it up . . . and changed her tune! It was, as it turned out, just right.

The day had that feel too. It was just right. A languid day in which simply being together was everything. We went with O’en to the beach at Maidstone Park, she and he going on ahead as I stooped for shells, scallop shells, their fans intact, and small golden ones that caught the sun. I spread them out on the kitchen windowsills when we got back. Quite a few are there now, and I’ve got a lot, striated ones from Florida, on my bedside table, reminders of eternity, of ebb and flow, and, even though it was Memorial Day weekend, quietude.

These kinds of days come along once in a while, when we’re one. Simply walking along on a beach, unworried, undistracted, playing hooky, if you will. They should be treasured for their distinct beauty, like the shells, like the colors, like the woman who catches your eye.

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