Morning ritual

I love to get up early in the morning and sit at my desk and watch the morning ritual unfold. From my window on the second floor I can see the entire neighborhood, watch the people go about their lives.

Every morning, between 8 and 8:30, an elderly couple take their morning walk, he in the same lightweight gray suit, she in layers of bright colorful wrappings; he in the lead, she always walking at least four feet back. Always crossing the road in the exact same spot, never speaking.

He wore a hat at first but lately has been going bare headed. She would hold her outer robe between her teeth to hide her lower face, but lately she’s allowed her face to show, though her head is always covered — bright pink and green. Perhaps its my imagination, but it seems as if the distance between them is growing less, ever so slightly, by inches.

Yesterday, I was astonished when at the corner, he turned around and spoke to his wife. At that moment, they were almost side by side. As if aware of this unseemly display of public affection, they widened the distance between themselves, and she adjusted the covering on her head to make sure no hair was showing.

I wonder if he’ll be wearing a hat again today?

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