We are all Mortals.
I once had met a man who was old and frail.
He had looked me in the eye and said,
He replied, “I’m dying.” He said those two words as if they were from his last breath.
Before i could respond, he gripped my hands. His hands were veiny and cold. There were blue veins everywhere.
We were along the streets that had bricks carved into it and the rain that had poured last night made everything musty and dull.
He pulled me closer and I was as frozen as the dawn.
He cried onto my shoulder.
“Its okay,” I mustered, my breath as pale as the sky.
I winced a little. I don’t like being touched.
We stood there like a couple. One who was a distressed lover that couldn’t let go, the other who was lost for a moment of what to do. Life was divorcing him, and he was an unhappy spouse.
I pulled one leg back. I noticed the small streams in the cracks of the bricks under us. They shouldn’t be able to go far.
He held my hands there, shaking them as if they were Buddhist fortune sticks. Something must come out by now.
And then he stopped and completely had his head rested against my shoulder. He let go of my hands and for a moment I did not know how to react. My hands stayed where he left them, and my feet felt like stone.
The morning sun came. Someone or something passed us. We stood there, oblivious of time, as if we were a frozen memory, a scene that stop following Time but still ticked.
Time was ticking.
I think he felt the sun against his back. Or perhaps he noticed we were no longer alone.
With his head down, he patted me on the same spot he cried.
He said with chapped lips, “You are a good kid. You will do well in life.”
The words came out as if they were rehearsed. Like when you tell someone they were good when they were not. Placating, that’s what those words meant.
He looked up and at me. His eyes were a representation of his history. For a moment I saw a soul. But that moment passed as quickly as it came.
As Time touched him again, he wobbled a little. He pulled out a brown bag from under his coat and gave me a sheepish smile. As he turned away, he took a swig off the bottle in that bag. Whatever it was, it raped the freshness off the air.
He prodded along with that liquid running into those blue veins (No wonder they were blue) . For a few steps, you could tell he remembered what he did or perhaps who he truly was. Then a few steps more, he was lost again.
I was a young man who listened to his declaration and watched him leave as a religious man.
I became a statue that morning. I waited for that patch of tears to dry and my hands to feel like mine again. By the time I moved, the tiny streams under my feet had disappeared.
Most of them probably didn’t reach their destinations.
But there’s always tomorrow.
If the rain comes.