Episode Four: Bruno and Alice: A Love Story in Twelve Parts About Seniors and Safety – I, vampire

Things weren't going particularly well with Alice and me. I had met her last summer and was wild about her, but the relationship seemed jinxed; whatever plans we made to get together were frustrated by circumstances.

In spite of my efforts, we had spent our whole first evening together only a week before, sitting in her apartment talking about bathtub rails and hip replacements. She had taken a bad fall that afternoon and, contrary to my vow never to talk about health problems as I got older, we talked about everything from slippery tubs to prostate operations!

But this night was to be different. Pure romance. I had invited her over to my house for dinner, and it was going to be a great one. I had some steamy jazz on the turntable (yes, turntable,) lights dimmed and candles lit when she arrived. I thought the place looked great but, when I opened the door for her, she looked around at the candlelit rooms and said "Count Dracula, I presume." Her comment put me off a bit. I like candlelight but I'm no bloodsucker, and I hadn't learned yet that Alice says whatever she thinks, good or bad. For me, dimming the lights is romantic. Besides, I've always thought that using less light saved money and, frankly, I made a point of leaving most of them off all the time.

I showed her into the living room and offered her a drink. She asked for wine. I slid off the couch and headed through the dark for the kitchen where I marched directly into the corner of an open cupboard, driving it right into my forehead.

I must have yelled out (probably something unprintable) because Alice was beside me in a second, flipping on lights, hauling me up off my knees, helping me to a spot more comfortable than the kitchen floor.

The evening wasn't a total disaster. Alice spent the evening very close to me on the sofa where, tending the growing lump on my forehead, she lectured me on the wisdom of turning lights on before entering a darkened room. That was the closest we'd been to date, but nothing compared to what happened the next evening we got together.

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