Last fall on our trip to Lincoln City with Mac and Pam, I witnessed one of those small perfect moments that linger in memory.
After clam chowder at Mo’s, we stopped at Cold Stone Creamery for dessert. It was about 7:30 on a Friday night, and the place was dead. We were the only customers.
We placed our orders with the young woman at the counter, While she scooped and folded our ice cream, I noticed her co-worker in the back room. This other young woman was making an ice cream cake, shaping it with a long spatula-like tool. As she worked, she sang to the music on the loudspeaker. She was completely absorbed in the moment: building the cake, singing with passion. She was unaware of our presence.
The song was a plaintive story of love and loss. The male vocalist had a thin, high voice perfectly matched to the subject matter.
“Who’s singing this?” I asked.
“I think it’s James Blunt,” Mac said. I had never heard of him. “Pam likes another one of his songs — ‘You’re Beautiful’.”
I continued to watch the young woman as she sang and built her cake. When the song was over, she set down the spatula, pulled off her gloves, walked to the stereo, and played the song again. She walked back to her work area, pulled on her gloves, and picked up her spatula. And she sang: “Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend. You have been the one, you have been the one for me.”
This little scene occurred five months ago, yet I think of it at least once a week. What was the story there? Had the young woman recently suffered some sort of heartbreak? Or did she just love the song? Either way, the moment is burned on my brain.