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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Surprised by Joy

A year ago May, I bought a single ticket to the Cape Cod Symphony.
I wanted to hear the young pianist written about in the papers.
Amy in the box office said she would sell me a ticket to the left,
So that I could see his hands during the performance.

So up in the nosebleed section of the Barnstable Performing Arts Center,
I was seated next to a regal looking woman of imposing stature.
Naturally, I did not speak to her as we were not properly introduced.
Until an usher came along to tell both of us that we were sitting in the wrong row.

Thereafter, a desultory conversation ensued.
Obviously, she knew more about classical music than I did.
She promoted Philip Glass; I plumped for John Adams.
I was stuck on the composer of an encore; she said it was by Chopin.

Sometime in the exchange, I said that I had seen her before, not exactly an original line.
She replied that it was probably at the Cape Cod Museum of Art.
We traded names, and departed separately.
I remembered her name well enough to look her up in the phone book.

Not having her email address, I sent her a letter by snail mail,
Inviting her to join me for the following year at a symphony subscription.
I was just hoping to save gas by car pooling, nothing else.
I did write that I was eighty and utterly harmless (I lied).

She replied by email, suggesting that we meet for coffee to talk about it.
I called and asked her to have lunch with me at Jack's Outback in Yarmouthport.
The subscription was agreed upon, adding a third seat for her friend.
Fine with me, I said, and was later invited to her home for dinner
So that the friend would have an opportunity to check me out.

Well, I guess I passed muster with both
Because a lot of dating followed during the summer.
In October, I put my house on the market and moved into her house.
And on February fourteenth, we married.

We have been to three reunions this year.
All comprising people our age, many with varying degrees
Of illness and unhappiness.
We are the smiling couple whom everyone admires.
Because we radiate how surprised we are by joy.
God sometimes smiles on older people.

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