Same time of the day, same running route as usual, same elderly couple taking a walk. They’re approaching towards us, and us towards them. Just as any other day. They walk at a parsimonious pace, with subtle and peaceful gestures, as if they were meant to be there. They have the eyes of those who have already seen it all, having nothing more important to do than enjoying the walk. The man is on a wheelchair. He wears the same shirt and pants as the ones I’m sure he wore during each and every working day of his life, though with slippers. He’s dozing, struggling to prevent his head pulling his whole torso forwards. A young care provider is pushing him. She’s swiping photos on her smart phone, notably grateful of having a virtual reality to escape to. The lady is wearing a light and colorful dress and very comfortable shoes. She carries a cane, but she’s not using it. And she smiles as she walks despite the visible effort. She observes the world with what it seems to be a renewed curiosity, eyes wide opened. Moments before passing by them, my wife stops and gets a sip of water. Summertime is in full swing, and the sun is implacable. The old lady stops by my wife’s side and turns to her.
“Sweetheart, why do you run if you are so slim already?” she asks.
“Just look at you. Why to bother? And with this weather!” she continues.
“’Hmm… cause I like it… I guess” my wife replies, hesitantly.
“Oh!, I see” the old lady says.
“And it also makes me feel good, and to be in a better mood throughout the day,” my wife continues, smiling, as the new influx of oxygen helps her to pull out the right words this time.
The lady shakes vigorously her husband’s shoulder, forcing him back from his enviable nap.
“Honey, did you hear that?” She says, “It must be better than my pills.”
Shyly, we wave them off and resume our running, pushing our pace even further while we rewind in our heads the scene we just took part of.
“Don’t let me stay in bed instead of running,” my wife tells me, “ever!”