She was hunched over in her nursing home wheelchair in a tiny room between the kitchen and main dining room, at a small round table. She’d lost the use of her voice and her limbs, and needed feeding. I’d say she was nearing ninety, but her thick, curlyish brown hair wasn’t all grayed out yet, so maybe younger. They must’ve told me her name, but I’ve forgotten. It’s been almost twenty years.
She was sturdy–not skinny, not fat– with the look of a Babushka about her, like someone who grew up eating Borscht. She sat there, silent, with a look of mild interest on her darkish, lined face
I sat across the table from her, with a plate of chopped-up something or other between us, certainly not Borscht, and proceeded to lift the food to her lips, one spoonful at a time. I don’t think I said anything, just attended to the task at hand, unhurriedly, probably with a little smile on my face. My default.
After a few mouthfuls she looked up at me and our eyes met. I think it was the nakedest gaze I’d ever seen. Like a child and a wise old crone all in one. I saw infinity in those eyes and I’ve never forgotten what it looks like.