December 26, 2013
It is utterly amazing that no matter how long a “life-time” lasts, it passes quickly for the one living it. Especially as the curtains draw slowly, yet steadily to a close of the final act. A person goes from feeling like they’ll live forever with an unprecedented sense of immortality to the fearful realization of their frail mortality and inevitable end in what seems the blink of an eye. Time passes swiftly when it’s almost up.
Equally amazing is the amount of change a soul can witness and withstand while running its course. From the start the world around constantly alters and changes. For a short while a body finds the rhythm goes with the flow, matching its pace to that of the human race. Only to be outrun, left behind and forgotten with time.
Yes things most certainly change. Case in point: He can recall with an uncanny clarity these strangers who, during those first few crucial months of his life, watched over him. Protected him from...what? He is uncertain but somehow knew that it was not meant for him to know. With time these strangers became teachers and friends. They stopped protecting and instead encouraged him towards one crucial goal - to live. So he did and he has and now the world has turned and things have come full circle. They are strangers once more. Strangers with a new goal which is the complete and total opposite of the first. He is old now and should (according to them) accept his fate with dignity. To go as he has lived, as a man. But he is human, he is afraid and thus he has run.
He has survived the seasons of life. In the Spring he blossomed and love found him. In the Summer he relished and basked in the glory of his youth. In the Autumn as he began to wither he relaxed and slowed his pace. With the Winter he found discontent as the end drew nigh.
Pausing now, in front of the theatre where he meet her, his legs and walking stick find a moment’s reprieve in memory. It was raining and two fools had found each other in a downpour; neither with an umbrella or clue. They had decided to seek refuge together over a bucket of popcorn. He knew from the moment he saw her that she was the one and somehow she knew it too for they were wed in less than a weeks time. They had conceived within that first month. Shortly thereafter she was gone. Taken away by promises of a life he could not make. He was left only with the knowledge that it would be a boy and the child’s date of birth would be close to his own.
Reminiscence is replaced by reflection as he sees himself looking back from the glass in the ticket booth. The gray of his beard which lays down his chest is gone now, replaced by the stark whiteness of new fallen snow. The deep wrinkles around his eyes stand out. His face scarred with the passage of time. Time which is rapidly running out.
They are drawing closer now. The strangers will soon be upon him and so he runs. His heart pounds relentlessly and his lungs are worn out. Each step is agony as his muscles feel their age exposed to this brutal marathon of survival. Why do they pursue him? He is almost finished. Do they fear he may draw an extra breath and chaos ensue? He laughs at this. A simple chuckle that turns into a hacking cough. He loses his balance, falls, something snaps but he feels no pain. The arms in the dark robe have caught him, enshrouded him, after which he feels nothing more.
Meanwhile a world away a ball drops and people cheer, dancing drunkenly in the street. At a small hospital strangers gather looking down affectionately at a small bundle in a bassinet. The card on the bassinet proclaims the child’s birth January 1 / 12:00:00 a.m. It also bears the name Lawrence Christopher Adkins. Which is impartial for those assembled will simply refer to him as 2014.
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