I watched as the stout old man struggled from the passenger seat of his nondescript car. The driver, a large woman, moved at a snail’s pace behind him and leaned heavily upon a used-up walker. Ever the gentleman, he held the restaurant door for his lady. Each shuffled through the crowded entrance and waited in the self-serve line.
The woman made her choices, then eased into a spindly chair. Her thighs spilled over the seat like an overflowing basin. She wore a loose-fitting faded blouse and shabby cropped pants; her gray hair tumbled in a slack French braid down her back. She waited as her gentleman brought more food.
He arranged the extra plate, bowed slightly and tipped a weathered hat to his lady. As she extended her hand, he drew it to his lips and kissed the fingertips.
I watched in fascination, dubbing the couple Lady Guinevere and Sir Lancelot
Guinevere’s gallant knight sported baggy cotton shorts, an ancient Hawaiian shirt and sagging suspenders. A graying pony tail remembered his forgotten youth and a guitar pick ear ring dangled from his right ear lobe. The hat bore an array of forgotten fishing lures.
Throughout this mundane meal, in an equally mundane setting, Lady Guinevere’s hand rested upon Sir Lancelot’s knee – a touching scene with unlikely players.
Perhaps in another life this couple had been of royal blood, accustomed to rambling castles, golden goblets and regal processions. In this life, under strained circumstances, they retained such stature.
How fortunate to find one’s soul mate the second time around. We should all be so lucky.