Born on Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
And that was the end
Of Solomon Grundy
If that isn’t the dangdest thing. Here I am, ninety-five years old, and something new has happened to me. Just when I was sure that there was nothing left for me to experience, along came Life and tapped me on the shoulder saying, Hey there, Sol – look around. There’s still a thing or two I want to show you.
I’ll grant you, it’s nothing earth-shattering, and yet, here I am, still surprised by life. How to describe it? It’s a peculiar feeling, one I’ve never had before. It’s like I’m somehow connected to people. I’ve always been a bit of a loner, always let Rose handle the people thing, so it’s strange for me. Well, so be it. Rose always said those were my words for everything.
I’m not sure when it started – hold on, yes, I do know. It was this Monday. I remember because I ventured outside. The weather was fine, so I took my shoes in to be resoled. Down there on the corner.
I was walking along and paused to catch my breath, just took a minute to steady myself there by the churchyard railing. Along came a young mother with a baby carriage. She stopped to adjust the soft blue blanket around a tiny baby. I nodded politely, and glanced down at her baby. He looked like he was born that day, a brand-new little thing.
And that’s when it happened. He opened his eyes and looked at me. For the briefest of moments, our eyes met, and I knew I had seen that baby before, a long time ago. And I knew that he recognized me, too.
I looked up in astonishment at his mother, but she just smiled and continued down the sidewalk. I stood there a moment and watched them leave. Then I scratched my head and thought it must be my age playing tricks on me.
The shoe man said he’d have my shoes ready the next day. I have to say, he’s one of the best cobblers I’ve ever had the pleasure to come across in this long life of mine. His name is Ignatius, but in my mind I call him Giuseppe. He looks like the old mustached fella in that fairytale. I told him if the weather holds I’d be in the next day to pick them up.
Giuseppe? No, hold on, that’s not it. Geppetto – that’s it. I couldn’t help but chuckle when I watched him through the window, bending over his table of shoes. I wondered if he had a little wooden puppet in the back room there.
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