Oh this light. It’s a bit too bright.


Sometimes, I like to sit in a crowd and get lost in it. It’s easy to feel comfortable when you can hide in plain sight. Sometimes, I’ll look at a mirror. I’ll count the rolls I see, gaze at my stomach that got a little bigger than I wanted. In the crowd, I study the movements of an old man. He’s frail but trying his best to hide it. His slightly tattered coat lets me know that he doesn’t wear it because he wants to but because it’s the only coat he has. My hair is still black and coming in full thankfully. Though I don’t know how long that’ll last. I try to imagine the way it looked when I was younger but it’s much too long now. I wear it in a tail because it’s easier then fussing… When did I become so raggedly tired? I feel a jarring force on my foot and look up, stunned. A young man brushes by, in a panic. “Sorry!” I hear him yell as he trips over a few more feet. He shuffles quickly with a slight limp. Sports maybe? Or a wild night out? That must be it. I groan as I notice the bags under my eyes. When…..when did I get these? Oh right, I tossed and turned last night. Too cold, too hot, how am I going to pay for things? My bills are due. I’m hungry, I’m tired, go to sleep. The last thing I remember when I fell asleep was how tired I was. Yes tired. But she was holding on to her mother with the determination only a 6 year old trying to keep up with her mother would. As soon as they sat down she plopped into her mother lap and threw her arms around her neck. I smile politely. The mother smiles back. The daughter is out like a light. Oh this light. It’s a bit too bright. But I guess it’s good when you’re trying to survey the damage years have done. Not that I’m that old, just….I guess I never thought I’d feel this way but here we are.  I wonder how she could have ever fallen in love with me. “Where is she?” he wonders out loud. I look down the way to see a pretty woman also looking around and I realize they are looking for each other. He’s wearing a Military dress Uniform. I adjust my neck. It hurts, but I’m excited to see two lovers meet again after a long time. My heart drops just as quickly as the woman does. The man stands above her, and as he turns I see it. A letter in his hand. His jaw clenches as he reaches out. The woman begins to wail. I cannot hear what she cries but I know what has happened. I look once more into that mirror. I smile and adjust my posture. I’m alive and I should be happy. I am, I tell myself. I know the sadness behind my eyes gives that away so I raise my eyebrows a bit. It’s the one thing I know that usually fools people. I’ll just keep moving forward I say. I stand up from my place. I’ve seen too many things today. I look over at the mother. She’s asleep but the daughter looks at me and waves as if actually saying good bye. I smile, I wave and move forward through the crowd. Maybe tomorrow will bring something better.



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