Grady lay in bed with the window open next to him so that he could hear the laughter of the audience, the good-humored heckles, and the cheers. Only after these sounds faded did he finally take the pain meds.
He let the relief sink in as he watched a half moon burning over silhouetted treetops. Crickets chirped at the wood’s edge and the faint scent of smoldering cedar wafted in on every breeze. For that one moment, as he smiled in contemplation of the Sunset Matinee, he almost grasped the entirety of the shuddering, gasping immensity of the world around him — almost, but not quite.
Too many things happen too fast for any person to ever get a firm hold of it all. We only ever get glimpses, no matter how many years we get to walk the Earth. We’re simply too limited to ever get our arms around it.
Only the collective seeing, listening, and thinking of the world could possibly make a proper account of the thing and, even then, we probably fall short. That realization would have bothered him at one time, but not anymore.
All he really cared about was that he’d finished the Sunset Matinee.
He’d made people laugh. He’d made them cry. He’d even made them transcend themselves, if only for a moment.
And if that night was to be his last? Well, he thought with a smile, I can live with that.
Copyright 2020 Jeff Suwak