I went down to the dining room at lunchtime today to buy something for dinner and as I walked out I saw Simon sitting and eating. I went over to him, wished him Bon Appetit and asked him how he was enjoying his meal.
“Absolutely delicious,” he replied. “I eat here every day and I enjoy every mouthful. My life never stops changing.”
“That’s great, Simon,” I said. “I am delighted to hear you are enjoying yourself.”
“Remember the first time you talked to me?” he asked.
“I remember it well.”
I had gone to some function on my own and sat in the back row of seats. Simon had come in and he sat next to me. I greeted him and said I hadn’t seen him before.
“I’m new here,” he said. “I’ve been here about a month and I don’t know anyone.”
I was surprised.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
“Haifa,” he replied. He started to talk then. “I came to this country 65 years ago. I went to Haifa. I got a job in an engineering office at the port. I worked there for 60 years. I met a woman and we married. We were married for 60 years. Our two children went to live in America. We lived in the same apartment for 60 years. We never went out and we never ate out. We had no friends. That’s just how it was. I was happy and my wife was happy. She died a year ago and I moved in here.”
“Moving in here has changed my life completely. I attend the lecture every evening and I am learning a lot. I go to all the concerts and I discovered that I love the music. I am learning to play bridge and I love it. I am painting in the studio and thinking about joining the ceramics group as well. And I exercise. For 60 years the only exercise I got was walking to the office and back every day.”
“I meet new people all the time and I even have a lady friend.” He blushed. “All this happened in the last 6 months since we met! Isn’t that something?”