Sunday, March 25, 2012

old man

The old man gazed very closely at himself in the mirror. He inched himself closer, leaning in at the waist, the bathroom sink his only barrier. He wondered where all the time had gone.

As he analyzed his wrinkled face he began to think about himself, years ago. As a youth he ran on the track team. Ran with a smoothness that all the other runners envied. The old man tried to lift his feet quickly, up and down, pretending to run. Two slow steps in, he stopped.

Then his mind wandered back to a time when he was playing on a college football team. Long gone are the days when he was able to maneuver his feet so quickly, back and forth, grasping the ball, knowing he'd make a touchdown.

The old man put both hands up to his face, palms flat against each side. And pulled his loose skin back, tight, to see if his younger self would return. As long as he only looked at the top portion of his face, he did indeed look quite a bit younger. Reminding him of his days as a young father. He thought about those days, playing with the kids, letting them crawl on his back so that he could buck them off, as if he were a wild horse.

Suddenly, his memory took a turn to another part of his life. He saw himself running his own business. Making sure each day ran as smoothly as possible. Building an empire. A future for his children.

The old man let his skin loosen once again, let the wrinkles settle into place, and looked himself right in the eyes. Eyes that have seen many days throughout his long life. Days full of lessons learned, and wisdom given.

Surely, the mirror saddens him; yet, mostly the mirror reflects the bright wonder in his eyes. Inquisitive, piercing, blue eyes that look as fresh as the day he was born. His eyes hold an interest in life. His life. His full of life life.

The old man took a step backward, gazing at himself in the mirror. Yes, time has gone. But there is plenty of time left. To enjoy himself. Telling his grand-kids the meaning of each carefully carved wrinkle. Sharing his stories of life with them.

(contribution for GBE2 word prompt: mirror)

No comments:

Post a Comment