Two old lavenders show up at lunchtime, one of them so gimped up she can barely step up onto the curb off the parking lot; so lame that anyone who sees her wonders why her keeper doesn’t just forego the walk, ferry her through the drive-thru instead. It isn’t until she’s seated and tries to unwrap her fishburger that it becomes obvious that she’s not only old and crippled, but is almost blind as well, her fingers having to feel their way around the wrapper, searching for an edge or a corner that might afford access to the prize within. Even then, though, it seems she can hardly direct the food accurately toward her mouth, apparently finding it only by trial-and-error, smearing it with ketchup in the process.
Her companion, only slightly younger and slightly less dishevelled, slightly more coordinated, assists her by handing her napkin after paper napkin, urging her to dab or wipe, but never offering to do so for her. This bond between them carries with it its own boundary, which the younger lavender dares not cross, but knows that someday she must; knows that someday,when she dabs or wipes the other’s lips, they will become one and the elder will cease to exist.