So you arrive home and walk through the empty darkness locking the bottom lock behind you. You move a few things around arranging some trivial item into an acceptable order. The sun went down barely three years ago yet it feels like you have lived on the dark side of the moon for an eon. It’s Winter. Close to the holidays and merely a week away from the Solstice heralding the end of another year. “Where did it go?”, you wonder silently to yourself for a span of a moment. “Should you put the tree up?”, but you wonder why bother as everyone connected is finally dead and a fading memory. Why care if no one else knows you’re alive anymore, your bones wonder. Life is different now. You are no longer an object of interest or wonder to the larger society. Just there to routinely pay the bills and read the online equivalent of the daily newspaper. Maybe watch an old movie or two before you go to bed at the time that you would have formerly started out for the evening’s festivities. Those days have come to a close. Now the waiting begins. The future is over removing its cloak from the dubious lack of promise of the present. Hard to be carefree when there is not much left to care about.
You met another one who seemed not so much different as you are now. The husband has gone off or died. The dreams of travel and adventure are a topic that has been put upon a shelf to gather dust. The children have their own children and she is lucky if either of them call more than every few weeks. She goes to work at the same place that hasn’t moved in two or three decades. She comes home to move the dust back into the shadows and keep the furniture arranged as it has always been as long as she can recall. The sense of security provided by existence has been like a blanket that has stifled as much as it has served to preserve. She came out earlier tonight for the same basic reason that you did. To get out of that lonely prison that you both call a house. You don’t press the issue, nor does she. You’re just two bumps on a log passing the time. Taking in the wide horizon of the different generations crowding either side of you. All of them animated and lost in the supposed ecstasy of the sublime. Another Friday night and the expectation of another round of cheerful oblivion. What have the two of you to match to that? Just quiet awkward conversation that comes and goes until one of you takes the initiative to leave.
Better to return home before too much is wagered upon a change. There is the comfort of safety in that old easy chair back in that same old rathole that you call home. Conversation is all of sudden more free flowing now that there is an impending sense of imminent desperation in the air. The check comes and the money goes. In and out, in and out. The knees ache and the bowels are urgent. The temperature outside makes you limbs ache. This is not how it was back in the heyday of youth. This is now just part of the forgettable past that quickly will fade by morning. It’s the other decades previous that will haunt if you let them. All the chances you had for happiness but you were to arrogant or just plain stupid. So much to be sorry for now. But now, why bother. It’s just too late. You had your chance and are riding the tram to the way out. You’re past of millions of other ‘baby boomers’ that tread unsteadily onward into the dust of history.