(an expository excerpt)
She was childlike. Her innocence and sweetness were disarming. 60 or more years ago such brightness and purity as she exuded from her womanly frame would not have been surprising. But, that was generations ago. Today is a vastly different time: a different era. It is a new culture moved and marked by a loss of innocence.
There is more truth but quantitatively less faith. It was always the case for those who lived long enough to witness the various depredations of the world. The tragedy lay in the too early exposure of horrors to youth. We used to ‘cluck cluck’ the presence of naivete in those of age to know better, but found it charming in the young. We smiled warmly at the hope for the future and shook our heads with the knowledge that it would disappear as grim reality begat experience, and vice-verse.
Now that too is gone. The charming innocence is gone. The many causes will not be listed here. It is enough to note its passing. All the naivete and ideology of American youth were burned, chopped, and ground out of existence long ago. The crops were burned and the Earth salted. Res Ipsa Loquitor.
Yet, there she sat; an impossible anachronism, gazing sweetly from across a cafe table. Long, honey-blond hair tied back in a canary-yellow scrunci, blue eyes smiled innocently and expectantly as if waiting for him to take his turn in a conversation.
Were they talking? Yes, that much seemed certain, but he couldn’t remember the last thing said or even the precise topic of conversation. It was personal and it was formative he was sure, but he lost the thread some moments ago.
She wore a yellow sundress with a blue flower pattern that covered her knees. Unadorned brown leather sandals were on her feet. No polish graced her toes or fingernails and the only jewelry she wore was a simple gold band on her left thumb. The air was temperate and the sun shone brightly above the canvas umbrella of their outdoor table.
Her long, graceful fingers lightly circled a steaming coffee cup. A blueberry scone, with one small nibble missing, sat to the side. A small brown bird hopped on the brick paving stones under the table and began to peck at crumbs. The picture was complete.