Maybe they had honeymooned at the Santa Catalina Hotel in 1959. But now he stood with his hands buried in his chino trouser pockets and was staring absentmindedly around the breakfast room, originally a patio cooled by an elaborate fountain until sometime in the 1990’s when it was closed and sealed into a dining space. The iron and stone fountain became a five tiered anchored wedding cake upon which bread and buns are laid with plain domesticity. It didn’t look like the aged groom was able to conjure up any active thought at least that is to say any longer since he seemed quite out of focus; however, his wife was quite mobile, nipping around the buffet tables in her slim sensible cream colored orthopedic sandals. She was wearing a white and yellow polka dotted chiffon blouse the fabric lightly caressing her small pendulous breasts over a short white spring happy skirt which rendered her appearance slightly girlish despite the mannequin beige knee high stockings, and her long white hair was pinned at her temples so that the airy locks flowed gracefully over her thin stooped shoulders. They hardly spoke to each other, but when they did it was obvious they were English. He took five times longer than she did to assemble a breakfast, and she no longer waited for him to gather his morning routine into some sort of form on a plate. “Tea,” her thin red lips had moved briskly at the waiter when she first entered the room during which time her husband had begun to loiter ponderously under a large potted palm.
Their no longer bothering to be irate with each other after decades of wondrous matrimony was a touching and an interesting show of mainly silent bouts of communication. I spotted them next outside the hotel just past the red carpet tongued domain intending to board the Las Palmas city shuttle bus. He stood with his back to the van, gazing absentmindedly at the top floor balconies while she first looked hard at his lingering presence and then saying nothing swiftly stepped into the waiting vehicle. That night I saw her gingerly stagger out of a taxi, her sensible black evening shoes charging up the front steps while her spouse followed amiably behind her looking vacant and accommodating as she veered suddenly off to the left into the hotel’s bar for another last night cap. I, half asleep in between the cool sheets of the bed upstairs, listened to the sounds of the piano rising from the bar below. I could have sworn I heard a version of “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” in between “La Vie en Rose” and “In My Solitude”.