I can’t get this thought out of my head since … well, since that realization. It started as a joke. In October, Boris was invited to be an official reviewer for one Finnish Ph.D. candidate. That was the first time he participated in such a ceremony in Finland, and yes, it was more a ceremony than anything else. He has to rent a tuxedo and a white tie, and pretty much the whole wardrobe for this event. The people in the renting place verified that he didn’t need to have white gloves for that occasion, and he said that it was a pity because those gloves felt so nice on the hands, and there would be no more opportunity because he couldn’t imagine any events with dancing. I told him: you missed an opportunity at Anna’s wedding, so now you’ll have to wait till Nadia’s wedding day. And he said: no, I won’t live that long. First, I thought – oh, he’s just saying things, and replied – why not? He said that it would be at least twenty-four more years until she gets married with the current trends. I replied, still without much thinking and still half-jokingly: so what? He said: nobody on my side of the family lived that long. I would be ninety-five by then.
And then I realized that he was right! And it struck me because I am sure I will live till Nadia’s wedding day. And although I was preparing myself for the fact that I would be alone for many years of my life, I suddenly realized that it is not an abstraction anymore.
In some sense, it is not bad because now we care more for each other and try not to hurt each other’s feelings. Also, Boris bought a new phone arm/stand, and we had a photo session we didn’t have for thirty-three years at least. Not to share with anybody, but to keep it to ourselves.
And there is one more thing I mentioned before. It happened again last week that I didn’t realize right away that the person approaching me was Boris. We walked together to mom’s place, but Boris didn’t plan to come in, so he walked back home, making a loop to the west. I stayed and mom’s place for a little bit and walked back home. We ended up coming to the gates together, but from different directions, and I didn’t expect to see him outside. It was already getting dark, and I thought to myself – is this older man coming to our building? I unlocked the gate and held it, and then I realized that it was Boris. And same as before, the moment I realize that it’s him feels like a turn of a lens in my eye, and suddenly, it’s not an older man, but a person who is everything for me.