Episode Two: Bruno and Alice: A Love Story in Twelve Parts About Seniors and Safety – One woman's poison

As a rule of thumb, if you're attracted to a man and want him to take an interest in you, you should try not to poison his descendants.

I learned that lesson last summer, when a gentleman who lived in the neighbourhood strolled by my apartment building with his two great grandchildren in tow. This man was no stranger—we had often shared a bench down at the statue garden but had never spoken. In fact, the last time I had seen him, I had asked after his health and was brushed off like I had asked for spare change.

But here he was in front of my ground-floor apartment with two beautiful little ones, and I thought I'd take another shot at showing him that I was interested. I waved hello and asked him if the toddlers might like a cool drink. He accepted and approached, introducing himself at last. His name was Bruno.

I sat the little ones at the kitchen table with some juice and, as they were drinking, Bruno wandered into the living room. He was impressed by my wall of bookcases and, before long, we were pulling out one volume after another, talking about literature, art and music. We had many similar interests.

Then, all of a sudden, Bruno was struck by the silence in the kitchen, and ducked back around the corner to make sure the toddlers were okay. I followed him in just as the younger child, standing before the open cupboard under the sink, raised a squirt bottle of liquid cleanser to his lips.

It was awful. The child was unharmed, but could easily have been in real danger. I felt terrible, and sputtered something about being older and having to keep all the cleaning supplies within easy reach. It had never occurred to me, at 80 years of age, to childproof my own home!

Nothing terrible had happened, but the incident was awkward and embarrassing and, when he left with the children, I was sure I would never see him again...


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