Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art?
A friend of my mother once likened my smile to the Mona Lisa's. Introspective teenager that I was, I now understand why he saw me that way. Some might today, see me the same way.
My mother's friend was a handsome man with eyes as clear and blue as the Aruban waters he loved to frequent. He was also a powerful man with friends in high places and he was wealthy.
My mother had many extraordinary times with this man; a casual afternoon spent at a Kennedy's house with a dip in the backyard pool would be just one of them.
One summer day he took me to lunch at Mario's, a swanky Nashville restaurant where Mary escorted us to the prominent table which was always held for him. Details of the meal have vanished over these years but our conversation is still very clear to me.
He told me a story about his daughter.
It was a simple story with a message and when he finished telling it to me, I knew that I'd just heard what would help form me into the person I hadn't even known I wanted to be.
His daughter had called him from her home in sunny California, to ask if he would buy her an expensive convertible.
"Why should I buy you this car?" he asked. She was ready he said, with a long, very detailed explanation of its safety features, how it would benefit her in her work and the great price the dealership was offering.
He told me he said, "No."
"If she had told me truth, I'd have bought her the car," he explained.
If she'd said, "I just want to drive down the highway and feel the wind blowing through my hair," the car would be hers, he said.
Then he smiled at me; a little Mona Lisa smile of his own.
Mona Lisa written by
Ray Evans and Jay Livingston