A Kiss in the Moonlight
In Jan’s face, there are a hundred moods. She has the no-nonsense stance of the Kindergarten CCD teacher who has instructed both father and son. Around her eyes are the trying-not-to-laugh crinkle lines which deepen when the children call out “God!” in response to every question. In her light eyes, too, is the profound sorrow of the wife abandoned. Decades together truncated by her husband’s disease.
Some Sundays, she is the Disciplinarian, the loving Role Model, and the Resigned Participant in life’s tragedy, but there was something different today. Today, she was the Romantic.
“It was a full-moon last night,” said Jan. “When I realized it, it was late, but I went by there anyhow. They say you can visit anytime, twenty-four hours a day, so why not?”
Stephen didn’t know it was night.
He saw her putting on one of his shirts and her coat, so he got his coat, too. He thought they were going out. And they were, only just to the garden.
When they staggered outside, his legs stiff from disuse, the beautiful moon had gone under a cloud. Six times they walked around the garden perimeter, cold, under a cloudy sky. Then, finally, she looked up at the sky and saw the clouds moving away from the moon.”
“Do you think you could go around one more time?” she asked him.
Jan he tucked his arm under hers and walked him to the center of the garden. When the moon swept out from under the piled billows, she turned to face him, silver light dancing merrily over their silver hair.
“How about a kiss?” she asked.
And together under the moon in the midst of the garden of failing memory, they kissed.
Love is always creative. And creating.
“What did you do to him out there?” asked the night-nurse when they stood arm in arm, the chill clinging to their coats. “He’s grinning from ear to ear!”
Jan smiled coyly.
“We had a little kiss in the moonlight.”