Sunday, January 31, 2010

The saddest date I ever eavesdropped on

Morningside is the richest district of Edinburgh, and most notably known as the residence of J.K. Rowling and Scotlands patriarchs of culture. Its not your typical rich neighbohood with displays of wealth dripping at every corner. I find it to be rather a caricature of Scottish culture with churches side by side and little old grandmas in country clothing checking out the displays of little shop windows. The wealthy seem to just lock themselves up in their estates and send the servants to run the errands, making this seem more like a little country church town more than a Scottish Beverly Hills. The men dress like Sherlock Holmes and the women dress like they are on their way to a knitting club reunion. I'm here for 2 weeks as my new flat won't be ready until mid February so I'm renting a room with an old spanish hippy lady that sells jewelry next to Edinburgh Castle.

Living amongst the elderly does give you a different perspective on life. Conversations seem to drift towards loved ones lost and spirituality.

My heart is going out to this elderly couple on their first date sitting next to me at Falko, a popular German coffee shop in the neighborhood. Its impossible to not hear their conversation as much as I try to drown it out to give them their own privacy. These two seem to have met through a church lecture and are having their first coffee together. She confesses she doesn't understand much about men anymore and he it seems is clueless about the needs of women. It seems to me that both of their partners have passed on and now they are looking to restart their lives with the companionship of someone new.

She begins to talk about her faith and its clear she seems to be seeking a spiritual partner to share her life with. He seems to be of the gendre of old historians you see on the BBC that enjoy lecturing on arcane subjects that interest only a handful of people, none below the age of 60.

I can sense the heart sinking in the lady next to me. She begins to get deeper into discussion about her church lectures and he begins to fly this plane into the side of a cliff by continually changing the subject back to his history lessons. Evidently, he is convinced that the Holy Grail had come to Britain in the past and had passed hands with Merlin the Magician. As the druid religions were converting over to Christianity at this exact time, Merlin, as their religious leader thus had some involvement in the exchanging hands of the Holy Grail.

She changes subjects back to church and he then asks her if she would be interested in reading his book on the Holy Grail. I imagine it must be hard to move on when your older. You take it for granted that your partner listens to you and puts up with you for the past 50 years and suddenly you have to start dating again and become a good listener.

Their conversation has ended and she is digging to find a spark. She kindly offers to pay for the drinks and he suggests that each pay for their own coffee. That puts the final nail in the coffin. Perhaps in another life, another age, another time. This time though, both will go back to their homes empty handed. Her being dissapointed and him wondering why no one is interested in his stories.

1 comment:

  1. so heartbreaking, yet i laughed. i credit you for that francois!