We are driving along and Denny points out the flock of birds perched along three wires, like rows in a choir.
“I’m always amazed at how the birds all sit in one cluster like that on the lines facing the same direction. All facing exactly the same direction.”
I agree with Denny, it is unusual.
“Might be easily explained.” Denny goes on. “Wind direction. How they land. Like an airplane. You fly into the wind, or you might shoot the runway. They all land the same way. It’s not like you can land backwards.”
Denny has solved the mystery.
“Still, it doesn’t explain how they all have to land in one pack, touching shoulders like that.”
I like mystery and I’m glad it’s not all down to a science.
I’m distracted by a person walking down the sidewalk with a white rain resistant coat.
“I still wish I would have bought that coat I saw in Whistler.”
“You don’t need another coat.”
“I need that kind of coat. I don’t have a coat like that. But, then again, I was of sound mind, and I could have made that decision, without being influenced, so it’s my fault.”
Denny didn’t think I needed another coat. I’m sitting in the car and feeling the dampness of my arms inside my woolen coat as I experience another one of my many hot flashes. I’m thinking that the white coat would be cool and comfortable on my skin.
We pull into the mall parking lot and I suggest we go to Target, since it will be closing soon, permanently. Denny thought we were going to the mall and it takes him a moment to adjust and turn into the Target parking lot instead of the mall parking area. We are shopping for sweat pants for him.
“I looked at Costco and they just have tights. I’d look stupid in tights.”
“I appreciate that you don’t want to wear tights.”
Denny laughs. We are both envisioning it.
Denny doesn’t want shiny pants either. Target just has shiny pants. The pants he has have elastic at the bottom. He likes that. They are black and fleecy.
Target doesn’t have any with elastic either. Denny is not short, but he has short legs and we can’t find any thirty inch inseams.
“I can get these at Costco for eighteen dollars,” Denny shows me the price tag on a pair of sweats. “That’s why Target is closing. People come here and expect discounts and it’s more expensive than anywhere else.”
We don’t find sweat pants for Denny.
We find a coffee shop in the mall. I know Denny’s weakness for cinnamon rolls and I see some awesome looking rolls under a glass dome on the counter. I point them out to him and he buys one. I ask for a berry oatmeal bar.
I’m sipping an almond decaf latte and I ask Denny if he wants to try it.
“That’s awful. I can’t believe you can drink that. Those soy drinks don’t have any flavor. Might as well just add water.”
“It’s not soy, it’s almond. I know, you can’t really tell the flavor. I thought it would be different.”
There is a couple sitting at the table behind Denny. They are young. They look like they are in love. She keeps giggling and looking away. He is doing the guy version of the same. I’m wondering if it’s a first date. I think back to my early dating life. My first dates. I remember how being nervous made me act out of character. I feel embarrassed. There is a maturity about these two, even if they are a bit self-conscious, that makes me think this could work out.
“I like this,” Denny says to me. “I like this, just us sitting here like this. This is what I wanted.”
I smile. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to hear him say that. There is something to be said for years of togetherness.
It doesn’t matter that we didn’t find sweat pants. This is what Denny wanted.