Do I know people with ALL of the traits? No.
Do I know people with many? Yes.
Do I wish I had more of them? Passionately.
I'm suspicious of truth filtered through the hands of man. Their filter may not be truth.
It bothers me that things in my life appear to be slipping away. Like viewing a timeline, I gaze into my past, trying to hang on to where I've been. Yesterday is still fairly sharp, the day before that as well; but weeks, months, and years have faded into the mist.
It's subtle, as though it's on a sliding scale that appears to be adjusting itself as I age--not to my advantage. The mist creeps closer. Some things I thought I would never forget have slipped away--I suppose while I was looking at something else. Names of people I once pulled to mind with no difficulty take longer, if they come at all. I stand in the grocery store smiling stupidly at old acquaintances as they chatter on, asking about my children, or wondering how many grandchildren I have. Some of these people I haven't seen in years. I haven't forgotten them, only their names. I'm always pleased when they stop to speak to me, happy to talk to them, but pray they don't notice that I haven't called them by name. Later, as I dig through the debris in my head, the names often return and I vow that if I see them again, I'll make it up to them. I want them to know that I remember.
I'm often intrigued when I have to perform archeological digs to bring information back, as though the events of my past have settled one on top of the other in layers like the mantel on the earth. They sink from view, and unless I do something to bring them back, they decay into vague memories, or worse, a page in ancient history. It aggravates me that this is all done without my consent. It seems grossly unfair. Knowledge is cumulative. What good is it if we can't remember?
I must confess, however, that pulling obscure facts from my past often gives me a perverse pleasure. It's not the actual deed or event, though that's pleasant, too; it's that I feel I've cheated the aging process, dug beneath the mantel and disturbed a layer of dust. It makes me believe that things are still firing in my head as they should, slower, perhaps, but that's okay—the alternative horrifies me. I'm not afraid of death. It's the possibility of losing of my mind that troubles me.
He lay in his underwear on a bare mattress beside the only open window in the room. He was spread-eagled and bare-chested, offering as much body surface as possible to anything that moved, almost wishing the mosquito buzzing in the darkness would come closer, at least close enough that he could feel the air stirring around its wings. Sweat rolled down his side and disappeared into the mattress, adding to the growing pool of moisture beneath him.
A breeze, one tiny puff was all he needed.
He closed his eyes, remembering how he had once dreamed of making things happen with his mind. He'd employ the ninety percent of his brain he ever used and generate his own breeze. He'd let the energy from his body coalesce, then throw it into the ether, creating ripples that would move outward in concentric circles from his body. It would glide over the mattress and spill to the floor like a mountain waterfall, landing in churning clouds of mist. Then it would spread across the carpet, sweeping away the magazine insert that had fallen from his MacAddict, and crash against the walls. It would rise, clawing its way to the ceiling.
Then a moment would come that had always fascinated him, one where minds reconsider, where conflicting paths are deciphered and choices are made. The pendulum would change directions and nothing would be the same again. The wave would slide down the wall and catch the card, sweeping it beneath the bed, and he would feel the blessed relief of moving air.
As he wiped the perspiration from his upper lip, a sound caught his attention and he turned to stare at the beads on the lamp his Aunt Ethel had given him on his sixteenth birthday. They were moving. A new sensation, faint but definite, touched the hair on his arm and chest . His breath caught.
"Evan, I'm leaving the fan in here tonight," Mama said from out of the darkness. "Don't kick it over when you get up to go to the bathroom."
Seconds later, she was gone.
I find it humbling to reach an age where,
Misspoken words and unintended deeds - never rectified,
Suddenly invade my dreams;
Where little things - never considered before,
Seize my thoughts in quiet moments,
Reflecting back to me a person I've never seen before;
One others have known for years.
The morning sun streams through the sunroom windows, finally open after two or three days of unseasonable heat. The scent of the neighbor’s wisteria permeates the air with a sweetness that would soothe even the dreariest of moods. At the back of the yard, azaleas sway beneath a fully leafed maple tree, transformed into stained glass by the rising sun. A spectrum of birds take turns at the feeder, only feet from where I sit. Squirrels and rabbits vying for their rightful piece of real estate chase each other across the dew-covered lawn.
Our two dogs are at my feet on the new carpet, unconcerned by the drama taking place only feet from where they rest. The occasional eye pops open when their sensitive ears catch a stray sound, one that my ordinary human ears have clearly missed.
My coffee cup is full. The newspaper is in my lap. I’m ready to start the day.
The check is in the mail.