Wednesday, June 2, 2010


An old, old man, so old he has lost count of how old he actually is, and when doctors or people from social services ask, he just makes up something that sounds plausible. 98. 102. Ninety eight is good, that's body temperature. One hundred two might be more accurate, though. He is no longer concerned about such matters. His wife died twenty years ago, hit by a drunk driver on her way back from the grocery store on a holiday weekend; they had married just as young as possible, childhood sweethearts, and he found himself confused by so much that remained unfinished. He had learnt about laundry and cooking when he retired, and she took up stained glass and watercolor painting and the house was filled with her half finished projects. Some of them he tried to complete, before shrugging at the futility of it all and returning to the crossword. He had never lived alone, found the silence eerie, began playing the harmonica a bit just to add some noise to the place. His houseplants flourished and a stray cat in the neighborhood adopted him.

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