Alioto’s By The Bay

By Mark E. Smith

I just made my way back from the City by the Bay, San Francisco, where my whole family was born, where I went to college, where my daughter was born. And, my daughter was with me, 14 years old now, and I wanted her to see where it all began, especially following my mother’s recent passing. One might conclude that it was like going home; but, it wasn’t. Everything’s different now – Pennsylvania’s home, I’m a single father, my only roots left in the city are the train tracks upon which I used to ride to college.

But, one night at Alioto’s, a well-known restaurant on the water front, I ran into a couple, the only one’s at the bar – and they were clearly in love, sneaking kisses, rubbing noses. My friend and I were bold enough to ask their story, what brought them together? We learned she was 50, and he, 60. She was slender, blonde, professional – a business woman, I presumed. He, well, reminded us of Shrek – big belly and ears, exaggerated features. And, man, they were in love.

The couple told us of how they met at a conference, and she blew him off; but, then they met again, by chance, at a bar, and they’ve been together ever since. In love.

I asked what advice he had for the rest of us – their being so lucky in love – and he laid it out. “Look, life isn’t a trial run,” he said. “When you find something amazing like this, don’t hesitate, don’t let a person pass without loving to the fullest. There’s no time for fear or regrets.”

Life isn’t a trial run. It’s so simple but yet so many of us miss that part. In life, love, disability, whatever – grab on to what’s in front of you like there’s no tomorrow because there may not be a second chance. And, they – the couple at the bar – were holding on to each other, no trial run for them.


Author: Mark E. Smith

The literary side of the WheelchairJunkie

One thought on “Alioto’s By The Bay”

  1. Just deleted an annoomyus name-calling comment and the follow-ups. I was originally going to let it stand, but changed my mind. If the commenter wishes to return and express disagreement in a respectful manner, the outcome will be different. Rainbowmummy, thanks for the support! 🙂

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