Last night we stood in a long line for the symphony, waiting to get into the theater. My wife and I were dressed in our finest Christmas clothes purchased from T.J. Maxx.
There was light frost on the sidewalk. I was rubbing my hands together, trying not to freeze off my Blessed Assurance.
So I did some people-watching to keep my mind off the cold.
The first person who caught my eye was a construction worker across the street, wearing a watch cap. He was talking on a phone, smoking a cigarette. It sounded like he was speaking to a child.
“Don’t cry, sweetheart,” the man said. “Daddy loves you. Don’t ever forget that. No matter how bad it gets, remember your daddy loves you.”
He spoke so sincerely it hurt.
Also in line was an old couple. They were conversing in a foreign language. Their skin was olive; their hair was cotton. They were dressed in fancy clothes, the kind they don’t sell at T.J. Maxx.
The old lady kissed the man, and I saw the man
hold her tightly, as though he’d won her at the fair.
I don’t know what their strange words meant, but if I had to guess, they were probably saying, “It’s cold enough to freeze the nuts off a pecan tree.”
I saw a teenage boy accompanying a young woman who was in a wheelchair. I think they were out on a date.
The girl wore a satin blue dress and a shawl. The boy wore a tux. He was staring longingly at his date. Occasionally they would kiss and you could see sparks fly off their bodies.
Everyone was watching them and smiling.
Meantime, in the parking area across the street I saw a middle-aged woman and her elderly mother arrive in a Lincoln, dressed in heels and silk, carrying sequined pocketbooks.
The younger woman was helping the elderly lady out of…