Today is Monday. I accompany my partner Steve to the optometrist. Pretty routine, right? Well no - not exactly. So, I sit in the waiting room while he submits to those boring eye tests. But this isn't about Steve, it's about the waiting room. I'm feeling sleepy, leafing through a well-thumbed, dog-eared 'Good Housekeeping' when a well-groomed woman about my age comes in. After a quick look through the pile of magazines, she gives up, sits down near me and stares off into space. Then a man walks in and asks the receptionist for help with his mother who is in the car outside. Someone emerges from a back room. A couple of moments later they reappear with a really old woman, leaning hard on a walker. Her son has a tight grip on the back of her cardigan; the optometrist's employee holds the door open. The old woman settles onto a chair without much trouble. She is so bent over that I have to lean forward to see her face. Her son sits across the room filling out a form on a clipboard. How old is she? I ask him. "Ninety-four," he says. Maybe because I show an interest in her, she begins to sing very softly, "You are my sunshine." Her son looks up, his pen poised above the form. I worry that he will try to stop her, but no. He smiles and joins in, "My only sunshine." The woman next to me begins, "You make me happy when skies are grey," I sing, "You'll never know dear how much I love you."
Karen Reynolds "Sunshine!"
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