HENRY: My grandparents. He was a political prisoner in Argentina. She was a human rights observer sent to interview him. When it was time for her to leave, he asked if he could look at her face for a while so that he would have something beautiful to remember in the long months ahead. He stared at her for a whole hour.
One year later, she went back for a second interview. He reached under his bunk and he showed her a little chip of wood. On this chip he had laboriously painted my grandmother’s face, using ashes mixed with water for ink, and his own hair as a paintbrush. He did it from memory, but it was a perfect likeness of her. She looked at it, and then she looked at him. The moment their eyes met, they fell in love.
For the next three years, they were allowed to see each other only once a year for two hours. But they wrote the most incredible, passionate letters every day, and they really made those two hours count. Thanks to her efforts, my grandfather was finally released, and they moved to the U.S. But every year, to this day, they spend a couple of weeks apart and then when they miss each other so much they can’t stand it, they meet in a tiny hotel room for exactly two hours and re-live the passion of their youth.
I embellished a little. They met in a donut shop.