Head resting on an imperfect arch of hands, a face stares out from a grimy mirror. Blue blues, red whites and the reflection of an infinity of messy bedrooms echoes out from weary sockets. Lines run parallel with the worries of an infinitesimal existence, this line for this obscure worry, that line for that forgotten contradiction. Thinning hair ebbs backwards from the Canute of life, bald, lined skin threatening to engulf arrogant follicles that thought they had the right to stay lustrous forever. We will fight them on the beaches, yes! But it is an eternally high tide. In the background, early morning light bisects the smoke spiralling away from an ash tray, paper and tobacco burning slowly down to their end-point whilst the universe does something similar all around them. Through the chink of the curtains fusion is producing more early morning light ready to fall, minutes later, on an eerily similar but entirely different vignette.
Is this it? Chapped lips slightly parted, a small black space silently forms the yes of the old man and the no of the young. If you could lend them your ears those lips would expel years of experiences into them in a fine mist. The incidents of a weak and feeble life kept alive by the heart and stomach of a weak and feeble man. In the silence of the just broken morning this world of convexes and concaves, so atomically similar to that of a dying butterfly or a blank slate, enters him through lenses that have been crafted by inheritance and polished by society. Is this really it? Has he even come close to touching the trailing edge of life’s heel as it strides off into the distance? He could live for another seventy years without finding anything more than faint footprints. Perhaps this is the start of the ebb. He might already have a terminal illness. He could expire in the next second, his heart stopping; face falling forward onto the desktop with a loud thump.
Un-reflected, the second hand of the clock stumbles forward and his heart strikes another beat. One small beat for man and a resolute V sign on a medical chart. The blood that this beat pushes to his brain helps to generate a flow of optimism. The tide may be high but he is holding on. Perhaps, if his memory lasts for a thousand years, they will still say that this was the finest second of his finest hour. Perhaps not. Whatever they will think, he concludes that it might just be nice to pull open the curtains and take another stroll, to bask in the warmth of all of its exoticism. To suck it all up, as they say. The hate, the love, the sun, the dance. To stand on the beach and smile as the inevitable tide rushes over his feet. And with this thought the eyes laugh, and the world blinks.
© 2012 Thomas Halvë