4 Replies to “7.30.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. The weight of the world on his shoulders, is what it looks like. And perhaps it feels like that to him. Old he is and he did not know how that had come to be. Age is a creeping thing and when he looks in the mirror he does not see the different that he is each day. He catches himself sometimes, his reflection in shop windows or himself seen in other people’s photographs, and it does not look like him. But it is not age that troubles him this day.

    It is true that his bones ache a little from so much walking but that is not a new thing. It is something he has always lived with. His feet were put on crooked, is what his mother used to say to neighbours and friends. And special shoes he had to get and that cost extra, and he had to make those shoes last, his mother said. So he walked to school in his bare feet, his shoes carried in his hands, and this without his mother knowing that he did, and in that way he outgrew the shoes before they needed replacing. And his mother came to call him Tip-toe and Soft-step. But though he has walked far today, and everything aches, it is not his feet that is his concern.

    He drinks from a plastic bottle of water that he bought. The water is already warm and tastes of cloth and dust and not like from a tap. And he spits into the road and he screws the top tight back onto the bottle. He sits slumped in the fold away chair that he has unfolded and placed outside the church, and he looks at his watch, has to hold it close to his face to really see the small movement of the hands. He thinks it is later than it is. He checks his watch against his ear and through the tinnitus ringing he hears the measured tick of time and looks again at where the hands are.

    He sighs and turns one way and then the other, peering beyond the reach of his vision, searching for her shape in the mis-shapes of everything he sees. You should have brought your glasses, is what she will say when she arrives, and in that way she will deflect from the late that she is. And a hat for your head, she’d tell him; even the young men wear hats in this heat. And socks, you should have worn socks and been more comfortable in walking.

    He sighs at how wrong he is in everything and he lets his shoulders slump and his head sunk low and his back leaning against the stone wall. His hands are clasped before him and it could be sleeping he is or it could be praying. And his lips are moving and he is rehearsing all the scold-words she will say to him and he sighs and thinks there must be more than this. And it is this thought that so oppresses him today.

  2. Lindsay, if Alessia Masci were bicycling by and saw this old man, I’m thinking she may have the same advice for him that she gave to Sergio, “‘For if there is no song and you do not want to dance, then there is something missing.’ But instead of wagging her finger at him and pedaling away, maybe she would have sat down with him a spell, no scold-words, just a nod of recognition, a pat of her hand. You sure have a way with phrasing – “peering beyond the reach of his vision”, – it pops off the page. Really enjoyed this one.

  3. Thanks for your positive comments, Susan. And again with Alessia Masci! She sure has made an impression. 🙂

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