We had the entire restaurant part of the bar to ourselves. In the room next door, the music blared, voices roared, smoke rings rose to the ceiling. You'd think our quiet side was the lonely one, just the two of us in a booth made for 6, but alas... something told me theirs was way more the lonlier indeed.
I sat studying his face in the most recent photo taken of us, just earlier that evening. "Sometimes I wonder," a lump formed in my throat, "if that sparkle in your eye is gone."
"What do you mean?" he asked curiously.
"I mean, I look at this picture and I wonder if that's a proud and smug look on your face, or if it says 'Holy hell, what have I done? I have 5 kids and this lady still standing next to me. Where did my life go?' "
He laughed and made a joke. And we moved on to something else. Soon it was time to go. I started to excuse myself to the ladies room, and something in his voice prompted me to pause when I arose.
"I will say this...." He stared ahead, nodding ever so slightly. "I've been to war a couple of times..... I've helped bring 4 of my kids into this world.....There's just not much that really excites me anymore..." He narrowed his eyes thoughtfully at me.
I nodded. I knew what he meant. What does one do for excitement once he's been to the moon and back?
"...But YOU excite me. You still do."
He took the breath right out of my chest.