Last night was the final instalment in my Wednesday night excursions to the Art Gallery of NSW for the Vengeful Ghosts, Ghoulish Demons film series. The third film in the supernatural Japanese trilogy was Ring. It was good. The American remake was better.
As I sat down in the back row of the theatre a tiny little lady came and asked if I minded if she sat next to me. She said she’d been looking for some big, strong gentleman to sit next to in case she got scared. But there weren’t any and I looked like a nice alternative. I told her to pull up a seat and I’d happily be her protector for the evening.
The little lady gratefully sat down next to me and told me that her name was Flora. Flora had a very thick accent, which she’d imported all the way from Peru in 1973. She was worried that I wouldn’t understand her. But I understood most of what she said. And what I didn’t understand didn’t matter, because I got the gist from the way she smiled and laughed and patted my arm. Flora was joy in Peruvian packaging. She told me how much she loves Australia; that it has opened the doors to so many great opportunities for her. It allowed her and her Brazilian husband to have a much better life with their three beautiful children than was possible in South America.
She told me that Wednesday night movie nights at the Art Gallery were her treat to herself; that since her husband left and fell in love with an Australian woman, she’d really been living life to the fullest.
“Miss Kylie,” she said, patting my arm again. “You only live once. So make it count. Do what I do, eat cake every day!”
The theatre darkened and the movie rolled. It wasn’t scary and Flora didn’t need protecting.
“It was so nice to meet a lovely person like you, Miss Kylie,” she said as we filed out the door. “Will I see you next week?”
Yes, you will Flora. But it’s my birthday today, and tonight I eat cake. Tonight. And tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that. I’m gonna shovel it in, and make it count. Every. Last. Morsel.
Flora’s right. We don’t need birthdays as an excuse to celebrate our lives. Get some damn cake into ya!