The Cardinals by Elliot W. Lesser

Posted by on September 8, 2016

The Cardinals by Elliot W. Lesser

The Cardinals by Elliot W. Lesser

When I walk into her apartment, into the small entranceway where she greets me, takes my coat hugs and kisses me with agape’ affection directs me with her hand on my arm, into her main living space, the first thing I notice is that she has candles lit. One or two, on tables or bookcases up against each of three walls of the room. The room is aglow with soft light.

“Make yourself comfortable,” she says. “I’m getting the champagne. We will celebrate.

I feel my body relax letting go of some of the tension I feel, heaviness that has been with me all day. Much of my time was spent looking out of my office window instead of working. I shouldn’t have come.

I am in no mood for conversation – especially worthless babble. I intended to develop a new time management plan today to implement tomorrow but I didn’t get to it…that bothers me. I feel sluggish…like stagnant water.

She is an intelligent, highly educated woman — an extremely beautiful woman — but I never met a woman yet who didn’t do some kind of Jibber-Jabber.

I’m in no mood for the multitudinous questions that will arise when two people know so little about each other. After so many years in this game, I am tired of the interviewing process that takes place. I have often thought of writing a resume, handing it to a woman, and saying, “Here, this is who I am, what I have of offer, what I am looking for? If you’re interested, call me, if not, let’s not waste your time or my time.”

But of course I never do that. It would be crass. It’s the dreariness of this day that’s making me think about this stuff.


My eyes go to the credenza, which is up against the fourth wall. This is the main focus of the room, or the center stage, so to speak. There are six pillar candles lit…each one six inches tall, all flickering in rose-colored glass containers.

They surround a dark wine colored vase that holds six small two-toned pink carnations, at least eight to ten white daisies and other small white flowers that look like baby lilies. They look so serene. So carefree. So fresh and new.

At each end of the credenza enclosing the candles and the flowers, as if in the edges of a painting are two frames…in one frame on the left side is the picture of a lovely little tan cardinal, on the other side in the other frame is the larger magnificent red cardinal – the male.

She must be a bird lover.

“ I thought a credenza was a type of buffet used in a dining room?” I said as she came in with a tray, a bottle of unopened champagne and two champagne glasses. She had served cheese and crackers.

She laughed. Well, yes, but these days we use our imagination and make use of furniture in whatever way we need to. The word credenza has its roots in the Latin word credere, which means “to believe.” Then, in medieval Latin, the word became credentia and then in Italian credenza. You can pop the cork,” she said. “ I imagine you are an expert at opening Champagne.”

‘ I never did this,’ I think to myself, smiling as I took the bottle and acting like I knew what I was doing. I had seen other people do it….I saw how they held the bottle so I got into position.

It is likely that the modern credenza was inspired by the credence, a long table used in the Catholic Mass to hold items for the liturgy.”

For Christ’s sake, she’s a holy dervish or something like that?I thought there was something odd about her.

Its first known secular use was as a sideboard for nobility where food would be placed and taste-tested by servants for poison.”

At that moment, there was a resounding pop and some of the champagne ended on her face and mine.

Laughing she said…“You are so much fun . . . let’s celebrate!”


Copyright All Rights Reserved 2016 Photo Credit: Elliot W. Lesser, 2016



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