Episode Twelve: Bruno and Alice: A Love Story in Twelve Parts About Seniors and Safety – You may approach the bench

I never knew how nosy Alice was until she started spending most of her days over at my place. We had agreed on a number of things around the house, including my taking down a few photos of my wife which she had found a little intimidating. That was fine with me.

I was getting pretty used to making changes with Alice around. In fact, Alice had helped me change my life for the better. It was because of Alice that I had admitted that getting older was something I had to face honestly. I had to recognize that I wasn't as young as I used to be and change the pace of my life to something more suited to my age.

The day I took down the pictures and stowed them in the basement, I kept up the momentum by rearranging all the tools in my studio. I nailed up 20 or 30 picture hooks and hung my tools where I could get at them easily.

Now I didn't want Alice poking around the studio, for I had also been working for several weeks on a present for her birthday. It was going to be the best bronze I had ever done, and I wanted it to be a surprise. I guess she figured I was making something special and couldn't stand the suspense, 'cause one day I came home from the bronzing foundry to find her standing at the door of the studio. I don't know if she saw the clay model of the bronze I was working on, but it was in plain view and I can't see how she'd miss it.

Two can play at this game. I never let on I had seen her and said nothing about her present, even the next day when the men from the foundry made their delivery early in the morning. At breakfast, I told her I had something special for her. She beamed. When I handed her a giftwrapped package she smiled a wide smile—at least until she opened it. It was a set of pasta utensils. Alice won't touch pasta. She's from P.E.I. and has a fierce loyalty to spuds. She fumed.

Pretending to be hurt, I turned and walked out onto our back deck. In time, Alice came out, but I'll never know if she came out to give me an apology or a scolding. Because the first thing she saw when she arrived outside was a bronze statue, almost three feet high, of Alice and me reading on a park bench, just like when we had first met. Now that was a birthday to remember!

And we do, fondly, each time we catch a glimpse of that lovely couple reading in our backyard.


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