While I Wait
There is a light drizzle. I wait, struggling to gather my shattered thoughts, they drift too much like the fog before me, only the potential of words remain. Action now, is null. Time for truth.
I reached sixty years of a life that showed little merit; my trajectory was low. There are no children claimed or otherwise to miss me, few lovers, only a smattering of acquaintances, of whom some might once have called me friend. If someone should spend the time on a eulogy for me, it will be wasted as none will be in attendance. But recently, I discovered I had a way with words and possessed a few thoughts worthy of paper; call me vain. To be honest, as honesty is the password in the closing moment, I cannot tell you how pleased I was with that revelation.
I was hurrying home, in anticipation of putting thoughts to words, to pixel. Grand ideas had recently swarmed my head; thoughts of addressing deep questions for which the greatest are known. Aristotle did not ask, “How Often Should One Scoop the Cat-Box?” or “Should We Leave the House Today?” and if he did, those essays, mercifully, did not survive. I had thoughts of addressing essays to each and every one of our minor sins and foibles, as they seemed recently to be standing before me, tantalizingly clear.
I must say, I am a tad angry with you—and you know at whom I point this shade of a finger. You were careless; but I forgive you as carelessness is youth's theme. You drifted over the double yellow line and into me, and brought my life to an end. Did you manage to press “send?”
I do not blame you for your foolishness nor gnash my teeth at your abject stupidity; I too made mistakes in youth that caused me to come as close as you to an early end. But, my projects did not involve others.
In the last instant, before we met and the bright flash that brought me here to this gray place, I saw in your eyes—astonishment, terror, and I believe a hint of apology.
I forgive you your transgression.
Hope! That is the last thought I knew, and I stand now, puzzled as to its meaning. Was it hope that I might survive? Was it hope that you might survive? Was it the hope your parents had upon your birth, their child (of which I had none), that your life might lift them somehow above the common, and from the height of their shoulders you might report to them the lay-of-the-land and sights beyond the ability of their limited eyes? Or was mine just the low hope for a quick, quiet death?
The boatman approaches and the shattered remains of time are fleeing. I will gather together the shreds of myself that remain to pen these last few words, to stuff them into a reed, to cap the reed with a bit of clay, and to send into the river. I still, briefly now, possess the vain hope that it might make some meaningful way.