Private Bubble

It is early Sunday morning. They both order the exact same breakfast. They both have the exact same smile on their faces. Smiles on the verge of exploding into bursts of laughter. Even when they, for brief moments, do not look each other in the eye, those smiles — for the entire time they sat opposite each other at that small table — remain plastered on their faces. The distance between me and the lovely couple is too big, so I can not shamelessly eavesdrop on their conversation. But judging by their demeanor, I estimate the topic of discussion is light in nature.

The two are still smiling at each other. They probably will have a few more moments in this private little bubble of theirs. But then in the afternoon one of them will be called away. With some luck, they will see each other again later in the evening. They both reached the age where they have lost any desire to uphold social protocols that do nothing but preserve a false sense of self: Do not call back too early; No two appointments on one day; Do not come across as desperate; Do not come across as desperate; Do not come across as desperate.

And on a certain Monday (marrying is cheap on that day of the week), when Holland is covered by a thick gray cloud cover, and rain drizzles relentlessly from the sky, our lovely couple will enter City Hall. They each will be asked a question. They both will say yes. The ceremony will be small and the party afterward not much larger. But that is more than compensated by the same smile I saw on both their faces today.