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A Silent World
Beauty and Grace Speak

Several times a day, I greet her with a soft-spoken, "Bonjour Madame." Not once do I receive a response. The silence does not deter me. However, her solemn composure demands I maintain a respectable distance each time our paths cross. Today she is pacing back and forth more than usual. I imagine her discomfort wearing a black wool overcoat and hat on this sweltering day. It appears she is oblivious to the oppressive heat.

I prefer to remain outside and finally find a somewhat secluded table with two chairs partially in the shade. I am content to be alone: settling into the larger, seemingly more comfortable chair to contemplate my future. Aware of my current situation, I begin to outline a revised therapy program while attempting to keep a balanced lifestyle. Eyes closed and engrossed in my thoughts; I feel a presence approaching; however, I choose to remain still and plan. 

I glance up undetected to see the intruder. It is Madame who takes the second chair. Standing, she removes her overcoat and places it neatly folded on the grass. She sits gracefully, eyes lowered, and remains silent. Wanting her to stay with me, I dare not look up and pretend to sleep.

Elegant wearing a collarless two-tone floral aubergine jacket over a crisply ironed lilac blouse - she is beautiful. Her flawless, smooth skin appears to be untouched by the harsh rays of the sun. And the heavy bags of skin under her eyes add to her aged ethereal beauty. 

My thoughts shift from me to her. I fantasize about a day when she was possibly the Grande Dame of the Arts in Paris. Could it be that she once hosted parties for the global elite? 

Always well dressed, she walks with determination, remains to herself, and is always expressionless. Her intriguing persona captivates me. I never expected she would speak to me; however, here she is sitting with me. Or is she? Perhaps she is resting alone at the table. 

I dread disturbing her silence. Surprisingly she remains motionless as I slowly and deliberately gather my belongings. I leave a cut single stem orchid on the table and walk away. This gesture is my goodbye kiss. 

Later in the day, our paths cross, and I notice she is carrying the orchid. In her silent world, she continues to treasure beauty.

A Kiss Goodbye


  • Post author
    Debra Levine

Comments on this post (4)

  • May 22, 2020

    What you wrote was beautiful. May I remind you that when we lived in NYC in the late ’80’s you had a “thing” for homeless women. Love you and take care!

    — Lauren

  • May 17, 2020

    You describe your “encouterance” beautifully…I felt I was at the table with you two—enjoying the presence of stillness…thank you for sharing..Big Hugs!

    — Carolyn

  • May 15, 2020

    Beautifully written ! Very touching !!Thanks for sharing 💜🌈☮️

    — Debbie Masinter

  • May 14, 2020


    — Muffy Lutzin

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