Yesterday evening, I found a small pocket album hiding in my rusty old trunk. The brown cover of the album was barely discernable below years of dust, just like my memory. It was a fragile thing, thrown aside, forgotten about once its purpose was served. Much like the human condition
I am an old man, you see, and I cherish every nibble of nostalgia. And thus, I wiped the album clean with my own wrinkled hands, and tucked in.
It had polaroids. A few. One per yellowed, flimsy leaf. In no particular order. My face lit up though, so instantly one would have been excused to imagine that something divine just happened. But I just happened to catch a glimpse of you. You were clinging to my back like the cat you are, and one of our mutual friends had captured the moment. It never ceases to amaze me that you were able to do that in your wedding gown. Yet, there you were; net astray, arms around my neck, hair awry and a smile so pure it could put angels to shame.
I flipped through it all. Heartily. So many, so many flavors of life we had tasted together. The time when we went to our honeymoon in Barcelona (that picture of ours, in front of La Sagrada Familia, with you in my arms, is now my favorite). The time our dog, Snoopy, named after the one you had growing up, passed on. The time we had a baby. The time we had another.
It was bittersweet. It was ours. It was not remarkable, it was not extraordinary. At the same time, however, I wondered. Unfathomable odds were stacked against us, yet we prevailed. I wondered if there was something remarkable about us after all.
That was when the album ended. With our baby girl in my arms, snoozing, and our baby boy, clutching your jeans and he looked up at his sister.
The kids have grown up now. They live down the street and visit every Sunday. We did raise two good humans. I am a proud father.
I brought the album to you, as had been a habit of mine. I would show you the meanest of rocks if I happened to find one pretty enough for you to inspect. You were making coffee for me as I had forgotten to drink my last one, and I handed you your glasses which you had in your hair but forgot.
I watched you watch the album. It was a beautiful sight. You were happy. You were fond. You cherished the nostalgia. So was I. So was I. So did I.
Last night, we slept under the stars, with the smell of autumn in our lungs and the music of the night lulling us to sleep.