A few months ago, as I walked across the parking lot toward our local Michael’s craft store, a man approached me.
He looked to be about 75 years old or so, with white hair and a hunched-over posture. “Hey! You wanna see somethin’?”
Oh sh*t, are you serious? A dirty old man, in the middle of the day, on the ONE day I ever get to go out by myself for an hour?
He was. (Serious.) And he wasn’t. (A dirty old man.) He showed me a license plate on his car with characters on it I didn’t recognize. He explained that it was from Japan, and that his wife had had it shipped here for him. He explained that he had met her back when he was serving in the war overseas, and that he had brought her back with him and they were still married today. He told me that I’d never see another license plate like that again, and that I should take a look at it now, while I had the chance. And then, he pulled out an old, weathered photo of his wife, a very young Japanese woman in a flowered dress, and told me that she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and that he only wished he had more years to spend with her. Continue reading