It was 6:05 AM and the earth was once more moving steadily to the inevitable release of night onto day. A Sunday caught in the headlights of the approach of Fall. Colder than usual for sure but the lack of heat somehow significant of a lonelier harsher perspective. The world seemed through with him. A spec of dust unswept that lingered around from incomprehensible times past. He rose from the bed trying to remember the escaping embers of a dream whose coals were quickly growing cold. The key roles were populated with strangers now. All the familiar cast members were now gone. The last one having been laid to rest almost precisely a year before. The cycle of remembrance had seemingly long deflated. He was seemingly unchanged within a young man of may decades clothed in tattered remnants of a once energetic physical form. The leg was alternately stiff and then only partially sore. It felt like a block of marble sometimes and then after some motion just something that had become flawed at it’s point of major axis. Limping didn’t suit him. Neither did that morning sickness that dragged upon him like a coverlet pulled off trailing behind from the bed. He looked at his naked form in the mirror.
Maybe the back had been hurting all along? A psychological squeeze play that put him in the pincers of doubt as to how long a human being was expected to travel unhindered from advancing age? Tough was tough and despite the pounding of his heart early in the morning when he awakened to drain his straw the other tribulations seemed trivial to someone who operated by mind over matter. Yet things got worse. Now when he detrained the car or its reverse the full weight upon the most afflicted leg threatened the rest of the animal with the potential of collapse. It was an odd feeling being encased within an equally aging example of Detroit fashioned steel, leather and glass to find one’s self the weakest of links. He thought of his father. A tough guy who was indomitable against all earthly forces of nature almost up until his end. The recollection of that one final sortie where in the elevator meeting some familiar residents he admitted with a lack of ceremony that he wasn’t feeling good. It took only three months before his inevitable departure. It seemed to take just that. A simple realization equating to a surrender to the inevitable?
The world was fashioned for the young. Those grandchildren he never had roamed the planet in increasing numbers while the old familiar faces grew less and less. His few remaining distant relatives having traded in their youthful photographic identities for a tireder less vibrant appearance that suggested their parents rather than the impression of their former selves. His own visage brought no comfort in the mirror. Funny how one could look so directly at the reverse image of themselves and keep from seeing the truth that the strange face staring back was indeed their own. It was embarrassing to go to some event populated by his juniors and have to remind himself that he was simply and observer and not an participant. This was particularly poignant in terms of the animal attraction felt for beauty. It was part of the decorum to express himself carefully and politely so that whatever potentially unbridled admiration he might marshal at his command was toned down and not ‘misunderstood’. They were all to arrogantly young and self-possessed to comprehend the nuance of debilitating status of age and a lifetime of unquenched desire. He dare not raise even a hint of their ire let he awaken a man eating plant whose scorn and derision would shoot barbs into an already deflated ego,
The schedule of progressive behaviors and their appearance that he had noted in others a few steps ahead of him seem to be coos to on time. He too was beginning to spend more time alone by himself where it was comfortable to continue to believe in the eternal fiction of himself as he had always bee. A place where he could continue to contemplate and nurse along the eventual fulfillment of dreams that would mostly likely never come to pass. His landscape was a hopeful facade. Something to hide his emotional nakedness from the brewing storm of a final abrupt conclusion. How could one plan for the inevitable when the inevitable had no dimension necessary beyond simple solitary attendance. Better it seemed to drop unawares caught in the chaos of everyday life as best he could maintain it and let the earthly material chips fall where they may? The morning had bloomed into another quiet peaceful day. The only decision for the few hours of daylight left was where to travel briefly before the inevitable fall of night.