Boomer Lit Friday is a project by a Goodreads group to introduce readers to works of fiction of particular interest to Baby Boomers. These books feature characters in their fifties and sixties dealing with real life issues. Every Friday the Boomer Lit Friday Blog will list a selection of short, relevant excerpts for readers to enjoy.
The following is an excerpt from The Old Mermaid's Tale. Back in the 1960s Clair and Pio were lovers. Then Pio went off to Vietnam and Clair fell in love with the musician Baptiste. In this scene a lot of years have passed:
The sunlight sweeps in long golden washes and shadows grow deep. I see the door of the museum open and a great bear of a man steps out. I feel my stomach quiver and tears prick my eyes as I savor every detail of the sight of him. With a ring of keys he secures all the doors and double checks them. Then he takes down the blue and white flag that reads Open, rolls it up, and walks back up the steps. As the rays of the lowering sun glance off the lake they flicker over him, turning his thick gray hair, and impeccably trimmed beard, to silver. I think for a moment that he looks like a knight in armor carrying his standards back to his king.
I wait. I think of the times I paused in this same spot waiting for Baptiste to come down those steps so we could stop in a little café for coffee and walk home together. Baptiste told me that it was my loving him that gave him the courage to come back into the world. Now I know that Baptiste approves.
In a few minutes he returns. He enters a code into the keypad of the security system inside the side door and then comes out and locks the door behind him. As he descends the steps my heart begins fluttering as it has not fluttered in much too long. I step down from the curb and cross the street.
He stops and turns toward me. The sun washes over us and my heart dances at the wide white smile he gives me.
“My God,” he says. “Clair.”
I return his smile. “You remember me. I hoped you would...”
He reaches for me as though afraid that I might vanish like a mirage, and pulls me close in a warm hug.
“Oh, Clair.” He laughs. “How on earth could I forget you?”