Monday, January 17, 2011

Inertia and Immobility.

Sunday,
the fear set in.

I could feel it creeping up on me,
slowly.
It had been following me around
for more than a week.

I tried to convince myself
that if I just kept moving
I could out run it.
But I knew better.

My grandmother,
before her faculties finally failed her,
used to take brisk walks around the neighborhood.
She was 82
and the ritual occurred daily.

My mother and I would watch her
thru the windows,
as she made her rounds.
We kept watch
to make sure
she would be coming back round again.

One Sunday,
my grandmother was moving
with a particularly hastened pace.
My mother commented to me,
"The old gal's moving awfully fast today Michael.
Where do you think she's running to?"

And I replied.
"She's not running to anything.
She is running away.
My guess is, she knows
that she is being chased by her own mortality;
and she is hoping to buy some more time
and keep ahead of the inevitable.
I am pretty certain
that I just saw the Angel of Death
in a smart pair of Nikes
jogging behind her
trying to catch up."

My mother looked out the window,
up and down the street,
waiting for my grandmother to make her next pass.
And she whispered,
to her tear stained reflection in the window,
"Let's hope he never catches her."
And less than three months later,
he did.

And the fear
finally caught up with me
this Sunday.
It slowly,
rose up and thru the cold steel of my spine,
as I stood on my front porch,
watching the sunrise,
drinking a coffee,
smoking a cigarette.
I froze.

I stood there
on my front porch
motionless.
Long enough
to notice that the sun was no longer rising.
Long enough for my coffee
to grow cold.
Long enough for my cigarette
to burn out between my fingers.

My body
had become full of lead shot
and molasses.
Even if I had wanted,
to get out and ahead
of the specter
that was coming for me,
I couldn't.

Unlike my grandmother,
I had given up on running
and took a new approach.
I thought if I just stood still,
long enough, it might miss me,
or pass me by.
I was wrong.

On Sunday.
The fear finally set in.
It quietly came up behind me
and said tag, you are it.

You are alone.

4 comments:

  1. Wow. That is powerful. Great writing!

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  2. That was simply fantastic. I'm sitting here with tears. Bravo.

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  3. Man... that was raw and honest. Perfect description of human emotion.

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