who do you see?

walking past reflecting window panes, i don’t recognize the man in the sheep herder’s hat walking beside me. he’s graying and has a beard and could have stepped out of an 1800’s photo. he certainly does not look like he belongs here.

i turn the corner into the downtown parking lot- one of too few for this town of 12,000- and lose the gaunter figure.

fall feels like winter and a pall of pelting weather fogs my glasses. the car has equally special problems, though she is, thankfully, not premenstrual- but, she fogs her windshield when i push her button.

while i am waiting for her to de-thaw, my mind wanders back to the conversation i had not twenty minutes before with an older couple from my own town who just happened to be in the same restaurant. he was telling me about her health issues, she was telling me about his home hospital rounds. between them, they co-survived her heart conditions and he learned enough to cook from the back of a box.

“i thought i recognized you,” he said, squinting.

funny, i did not recognize myself. not in the mirror this morning.

my spirit man does not feel the age, but my mind does. i have little interest in the more attractive females walking by. but the souvlaki makes my mouth water as i spread a healthy dose of feta over the spicy lamb.

they have a conversation, but not really with me. somewhere in it, i have a bit part, like a supporting actor with an aside now and then.

the feta is calling…but they aren’t leaving…

back out in the cold, i glance at the store windows. someone is soon following me. i race back to the car and start the engine. in the rearview mirror, the cars move away and i see an opening in the weather. winter is not here yet.


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