the dad takes a picture of his daughter and wife and mother-in-law and then the wife gets up and takes a picture of her mother, her daughter and son. nothing much else happens, they’ve stopped eating a while ago and are just sitting there now, enjoying the mild evening air and the general atmosphere of a moderate brooklyn bustle, as am i.
then a pale blond and fairly preppy young man walks past and in undisguised rapture falls on his knees and tells the old lady how beautiful she is. he holds her hand and kisses it. for a moment i think that he must be an old friend but he obviously isn’t and the family look on, half flattered, half bemused, in good humour. a young woman retraces her steps and tries to unpeel the young man from what has effectively become a tender embrace of the old lady. seeing the object of his instantaneous affection, she similarly oohs and aahs and tells the whole family how beautiful they all are. the young man has now got up and enquires about the constellation of the relationships and then squats down again, holding on to the flimsy barrier, which wobbles, whereupon he loses his balance and nearly tips over, but the dad steadies him with a firm manly grip.
another young woman and another young man have now joined the party and after more exclamations of appreciation, the other young man takes his friend in a not too rough headlock and starts guiding him off. the young man once more compliments everyone on the marvel of their existence and then apologises for making a nuisance of himself. he says: ‘sorry for being a fucking nuisance.’
the dad says, ‘that’s all right, but don’t swear in front of my wife.’ as they stagger off, mirthfully, the old lady turns around and calls out to them: ‘you have a good night now, and be careful.’
it’s only about nine o’clock in the evening, but maybe they’ve been partying since last night and are now on their way home, or maybe they’ve only just started and are now on their way somewhere else, not that it matters. but whatever it is they’ve been taking: clearly it’s working and turning their world into a land of loved-up wonder. which is fair enough, we all need a little love in our lives. just so long as you don’t swear in front of a lady…