A Matter of Age

A deep pervasive loneliness has crept its way into my space; a loneliness I have never felt before. And as the autumn approaches, there is a coldness I have never know, not at all like the welcoming fresh breezes of autumn that I’m accustomed to. There are no delicious colors, no hurried scampering of small critters preparing for winter, no bright sky where blues glitter from the sun, and clouds sail by with the blustering white of an old clothesline of sheets hanging to dry. No, this cold comes with an intention to destroy all foundation of habit and control, all the building blocks of place and belonging, all pretense of longevity and lasting. It is what the grave might bring, but this is before the mercy of grave, before the rest a hopeless stray to a merciless world could ever expect.

Perhaps it is a part of aging; perhaps it is part of too much memory, too great a stretch of what should be, versus what could be, versus what is. Perhaps life and its memories are nothing more than shards of broken glass meant to pierce the soul until it expires from the attack.

All it takes is that one precious combination of timing and disaster, and wheels that turned each day into a wonderful unfolding of a new beginning, no matter how trivial, now becomes the wheel of destiny, a moment when life catches up to you and demands its due: the fall, the retribution for whatever longevity you have achieved, the meaningless lost conjecture of it all, if there had even been a purpose.

Volkswagons, birch trees, oceans, pans of ice, tents, cold beer, hockey, sex, burning fires, stars, scars, tears, leaving, loosing, wins, gains, food, sickness, dogs, leaving, arriving, growing, learning, jumbled recollections of what could easily have been another person, as this one is all alone and waiting for a train that will never arrive. The Tracks were torn up before he bought his ticket.

Still there is the mournful child of endurance. He is the one who gives you your next step, lends you a hand that cannot get you up, but it promises it will never let you go. The endurance child is who taught you how to ride a bike, to swim, to play an instrument, learn a sport, and an assortment of other abilities which required more than wishful thinking.

But sometimes even the child of endurance needs time off. He has never failed to return, and so his twin will sustain me as I wait. He is the child of continuity. His job is to ensure no matter how complacent, how safe we find ourselves, the mere act of living dictates we have change and a wiliness to adapt to new and differing circumstances.

The old man in me almost forgot that, as much as the young man in me had no need to ponder such trivial matters.