It’s a random coffee shop moment, but the soft intensity of the old woman’s gaze is anything but random. Her smile bears the warmth of sweet memories. I remind her of someone. A son? A lover? A departed husband? She knows me, it seems, yet I have no idea who she is. I cringe with the sensation of being studied by a stranger. I don’t like it. It brings back memories.
So I sit next to her. Break the ice. Later today her life will ebb away under my fingers, and the memories will retreat, hers and mine.