In a diner, making for the coffee stand, I paused for an aged woman, as fragile as a shell. Our paths wove together in a stitchery of chance. She would have given way as rough custom demands: old age bows to youth, female to male, height and impatience trumping courtesy and care. "Thank you for noticing me," and her eyes glinted a little. "When you're my age you are invisible." In the counting world youth rises and whirls, broad strokes and flash springing off the feet. Old age lifts memory to its ear, a conch shell's far-off ocean calling faintly from within.