It was strange to be surrounded by silence in a cafe as everyone was on their laptops. We probably bothered them, but it's still in my living memory that you went to cafes to talk to friends.
Murvin told me he lost his drivers license, because someone called into the DMV to say he shouldn't be driving. He had to take another test. He failed, and he felt they failed him because of his age. But he really is losing his memory, so it's better that he doesn't. I of course said nothing.
"It's ok, the only place I want to go is the cemetery. You know she passed away."
"Yes, I am so sorry." When I saw him a year ago he was so bereft he barely recognized my son and I.
"You never met her when she was like this." He took out the photos of his wife from his wallet as he always does, "She was an opera singer," he said.
"She is beautiful," I said.
"No she wasn't," he literally scoffed, "She was gorgeous."
They were married for 60 years before she passed away.
I never did see her red hair, nor her in an emerald wedding dress. I am not sure I was alive when she wore her hair in a beehive along with a floor length mink.
The mink was stolen by one of her caregivers.
When I met her, she was already in a wheel chair, one of her arms curled up, she had to be hand fed, and the food would dribble down. She could barely shake her head. I am not sure what she thought of me and my son, but Murvin liked to watch Kiowa eat corn on the cob. He found it hilarious.
They never had children because when they married, she was 35, and that was far too old to be a mother in those days.
The new caregiver would wheel her out onto the sidewalk and he would sit next to her while holding her hand. My son wasn't walking so sometimes I just sat with them. I just left my husband and I liked the company. I think he liked mine too.
Sometimes he would tell me about the depression, the war, him being a Phd student in UCLA. How he decided to work in business when he realized there was no money in teaching, and he had his wife to think of.
He would tell part of the story and look over at his wife and say, "Isnt that right Belle?" She would move sometimes, sometimes not. He often repeated himself.
I like to imagine what their life was like. I like being in the company of a man who loved his wife that much. Belle was loved by her husband in a way only very few women have the privilege of.
She was loved as an opera singer should.
I have seen photos of her countless times, but I still like to hear him talk about her. I doubt I will meet another man who disagrees with me when I tell him his wife was beautiful, because in fact she was gorgeous.