through my paperround last year i met a wonderful man. he used to walk his dog as i’d deliver papers and we started talking around the time i started writing this blog. i think he’s 82: he must have mentioned it a while back. and i’m afraid there’s nothing literary about him: his existence is one of uncouth coutesy.
i quit the paperround a while back now but i still see him every sunday. nine o’clock in the morning, like church. he’s my little christian connection: even S is nowhere near taking his place. he gave me a bible with a picture of him in his youth stuck at the back, so that i remember him. secretly, i think, he believes that it will help me find him in heaven: he believes i will go there after all.
to my friends, this man is “the old man”. to me, he is much more than that. it may be true that i meet him every sunday partly because i feel like it’s my obligation, but also because somewhere beneath my skin there’s a tendon that connects me to him.
his wife died last night. or the night before that. and there’s no more words because i’m hurting for him. because how can one even begin to describe his pain?
i had made them a card only this march: they celebrated their 60th wedding annivesary.
sometimes he told me he wondered if she ever loved him but i know that was only because he loved her more than anything else. ever.
and it’s a little late for him to tell her, but i hope she knew. i think she knew.
Posted in chapters of my life
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if he ever tried to retrace his steps, Y would still be here. there’s only so many lives a man can lead. whilst i lived out my three, not quite a cat but near enough the slinky nine, he could barely grasp onto one.
so here we are again. and he won’t admit that he was wrong to have jilted me at my elusive altar and though i’m not bitter, i still think it should have been me to have waved the first goodbye. i was never the taker for seconds.
now we speak for barely more than seconds.
and we had a conversation today. somehow i manipulated minutes out of him when he claimed to have none. and he wants me to call on a weekend. and he listened to my poetry of loving women and war poets. it’s been a while. but i’ll let him live his life. that one life he holds onto like a raft in a burly sea.
those sort of lives were never meant for me: i like mine long and luscious, like sweltering summer days.
and when i read him my lines, he stopped talking altogether, pondering, wondering, what it was that i meant, knowing it concerned him but not knowing how.
and to think i used to call him mine.
Posted in chapters of my life
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