Wednesday, January 28, 2009

50 years

I went to Macy’s today for lunch. I purchased a few slices of dill havarti and smoked gouda cheese, a tangelo and a powerade. (Really, with a lunch like that, how can I not drop the pounds!?) I’m on my way out the door I see a couple which reminds me of an experience I had in New York. I totally forgot about this moment until today and felt I just had to write it down. It was one of those experiences where if you were with me, I would have shared with you when we got back to the car and needed a subject change. . .
I interned in New York City for a few months. At the time, Governor Olene Walker and her husband were the government official volunteers. I loved working with the Walkers! I loved going out on assignments with them and learning from their experiences.
All three of us were making our way from Queens back to Manhattan late one night. (We were actually coming home from the US Open, but that’s a different blog for a different day.) I was sitting on one side of the subway train, and the Walkers were together on the other. It was rather late, on the 7 Train and I was just being cautious. (Yeah, I know it was Queens and not the Bronx, but I’m still no dummy!) For maybe 5 minutes, a young man—who was maybe 19 or 20 was sitting next to me and kept eyeing Governor and Myron Walker. It was as if he analyzing them, trying to figure out a life story by the few minutes he shared with them. He was definitely born and raised in one of the rougher parts of New York and I’m sure his resume would include something like ‘guaranteed survival on any street in any city east of the US and then some.’ I remained alert and cautious, but tired not to look paranoid.
The train made a few stops, taking us closer to the middle island. And then the guy he mumbled something.
“How long you two been together?” He nodded his head towards the Walkers.
“Oh, about 50 years,” was Myron’s reply.
Wow. Fifty years. That’s twice my current age! I’m sitting here even now thinking about what all I could see with a person for 50 years—a half a century—a few generations even. The number was impressive to just say, but the way Myron said it was what made this experience stick with me.
The Walkers are just normal people. I saw them argue. I saw one waiting for the other to get ready for an evening event. I saw them work and negotiate together. I saw how he held to door open for her and how she would still wink at him.
When Myron said fifty years, the young man just gawked. They engaged in small talk until we arrived at our stop.
I don’t know if the Walkers remembered this or even if the New Yorker did, but somehow, on my lunch break back in Utah, I remembered that. . .
Fifty years. . .


Adam said...

i love reading your are so cute.

Liz said...

sorry that was Liz your cousin I was on my husbands account.