I remember the moment so well. Our eyes met as we reached for the fennel, and then our hands touched, and touched again. It was during the Snowmaggedon 2015 pre-blizzard food hysteria. I forgot the fennel. My only focus was the man whose brown eyes I was looking into.
Without saying a word we both drifted to the cashier. He was in front of me as I checked out. When I got home I found a card in my down coat pocket with his name and number. Could I call him? Should I call him? My heart and my thoughts were racing.
I didn't call strangers, but I called him and as the snow melted I found myself a mile downtown entering his building and then his apartment. I saw the New York Times and the recliner and the two cups side by side. I knew I made the right decision.
The zipper was stuck on my down coat. He helped me with it and said, "I have something for you." Again, my heart was racing. I looked around and saw what lay on the sofa, fifty layers of fleece. I told him I was a down wearing woman and he told me to live outside my comfort zone. "Fleece is warm, so warm," he told me.
And then I saw the hand lotion. I remembered seeing it at Saks, and I remembered the aroma, the scent of wild oranges on a summer night in Capri. I remember thinking who buys hand lotion for $100? Now I knew, a man who can fall in love with just one touch across the fennel. This man.
"I'm going to wrap you in fifty layers of fleece."
I settled down in the recliner and heard the words I had longed to hear for so long. "I'm going to explain Medicare Part D to you," and I sat back.