Several young men stood smiling, each one beside his lawn mower. The one I knew, but didn't know, had hair. Dark hair. And his eyes twinkled. The photo had gotten bent somewhere, some time between that day and this. The white line that marked the bend didn't mar the people in the photo. It was just there, surprising and uncomfortable, at a safe distance from the story.
I put down that photo and picked up another one that I had never seen before that day. The photos filled a table, puzzle pieces of a life.
A man approached the table and I silently moved sideways, sharing the pieces with him. We were silent for a while. I picked up photos and held them. I put them back in their places.
I asked, "How did you know him?"
"We worked together at the university, after he retired from the phone company."
We stood in silence again. He looking. Me touching, turning, thinking.
He broke the silence this time, "I didn't know he was married twice, that there were children from the first marriage. He never said."
I looked him in the eyes for the first time and whispered, "I am one of them."