Monday, April 16, 2012
Jo and I paid for our beers and crossed to the empty table we had spotted when we came into the bar. Soon we were joined by Benjamin and Fred, two 3rd year law students I knew only by reputation. Jo and Benjamin were soon engrossed in a conversation about her former boyfriend and Fred and I were left to get acquainted. He asked about my spring vacation and I regaled him with a martyred account of preparing Easter dinner for the family when mother took to her bed. We must have talked about something else, but I don’t recall what it might have been. It was peanut night at Mort’s, so any conversational lulls could easily have been filled with cracking and chomping. What riveted my attention were the laugh lines on either side of his eyes. I counted them more than once. Ten in all, with deep grooves in the center fading to light #4 pencil lines at the edges. A few weeks later when I told my friends we were getting married, they gaped. “How do you know he is Mr. Right?” Nearly fifty years later, the question has been altered but the answer is the same. “Laugh lines!” I tell them with a smile.