Image: Supplied. By Carmelene Siani.
“You’re 73 years old now,” he said as the waiter brought our wine. “What have you learned since we last met?”
I hadn’t seen the long, tall, blue-eyed Irishman sitting across the table from me for over 40 years—not since I had worked for him in the 1970s when he was studying for his PhD in psychology and I was helping him develop his therapy practice.
I always found him to be an intellectually stimulating—not to mention quite sexy—guy who delighted in asking me challenging questions.
Now here he was, asking what I had learned in 40 years.
Was he kidding? Did he really want to know?
“A lot of stuff that nobody would give a damn about,” I hedged, adding that he knew I hadn’t gone go college, didn’t have expertise in any particular field and that I was the kind of person who couldn’t even remember the name of the author of most of the books I’d read—let alone the titles.
“You know I’ve never had a mind for content.” I reminded him. “I have a mind for process.”
“Doesn’t matter,” he said. “I want to know what you have learned from life. From living.”
I told him I couldn’t begin to tell him, just like that, and he said, “Make a list.”
“Make a list?” I repeated.
“Yes,” he said. “Make a list—a list of what you have learned or a list of what you live by. It’ll be an excuse for us to have lunch together again.”
“If it means we can have lunch together again,” I flirted, “I’ll do it.”