Every day they walked here, for years already, he was on his side of the sprawling park, which divided the city into two halves, and she on hers. They would never have encountered each other if they had not decided, independently of each other, to leave the well-known, always gone path, and to take a side-road. She sat down on a bench. Perhaps she had exaggerated her powers, but this young summer day seduced to lightness, or at least to what one could call lightness in her age.
If you are over 70 you should keep with your power. Just a little breathe, she wanted to be on this bench. For the same reason he sat down on the bench, too. And the warm sunshine danced across the floor. So they found each other, fell in love, loved each other. They would never have thought it possible, at their age. There is no such thing.
“Grandma, you are like a young thing!”, her granddaughter, a cheeky girl of twenty years, “Grandma, you are like a teenager!”
“Why do you mean that?” asked her grandmother, impishly smiling.
“Because you do not do such things at your age. That contradicts …,” she replied, seeking the right word.
“Does the dignity repel?” the grandmother said, “Since when is love against dignity?”
“Love is ok, but it should be different than when you are young. If you are old, you love your family and friends and if you have a man, then platonic,” she said confidently.
“You mean, when you’re old, you have no more physical needs?” the grandmother continued.
“Hold hands, and that’s okay, but …” said the granddaughter, and looked at her grandmother with frightened eyes, “You have not …”
“What shall we not have? Slept together?” the grandmother asked, still smiling.
No, she was not angry with her granddaughter. She probably would not have understood it when she was so young. One always has these pictures in mind of what was for a certain age, and sex with over 70, which was a wrong picture when the skin was wrinkled and withered.
“Grandma, it has no future, because, who knows how long …” the granddaughter tried to explain.
“How long we still have to live?” the grandmother added, “But love is not about the future, but about the present, and the more we approach death, the more important is the moment. We live no longer in the future, but in the moment that is given to us. We have no time to run away. That’s why we stay,” the grandmother tried to explain.
Her granddaughter probably had not understood, but that did not matter. Maybe it was her last summer, maybe not. No one could say that, but in any case it was their chance. One last time to love, as when the spring begins in the middle of winter, and if it was only for this moment. So much has been happening in a life that has been exciting for decades, yet still able to lose oneself and dare to make a new start.
“Was it really so? Could that be?” they asked themselves again and again. So they decided to stop asking and begin to live once again. Whatever they had led and brought into this part of the park, a part of the park that they had never entered, it had wanted this meeting. And luck, this late, just through the varied experience, all the more fortunate happiness, made her resurrect to feel as young as the summer was.