“Look, God.” I shouted, earlier this morning. “I’m still standing,” which wasn’t quite true. More like leaning. But upright, both feet planted firmly on the imperfect kitchen floor. I gazed hungrily out the north window. Not much had changed since yesterday. River steady. Nothing of substance, nothing ethereal suggesting itself.
At eye level, the horizon is deceptively close and the terrain between here and there seems…ah seems….oh fuck, what’s the word I’m looking for? Passable, hikeable, doable? My vocabulary shrinks and coarsens as my synapses thicken and collapse under the weight of age. I’m becoming simple—far less complex than dirt.
I have a plan. It involves five larges stones placed so that rainfall will drain to the pond instead of the basement. God has more or less approved this plan. “Yes,” God said, looking things over. “It’s best to make gravity your friend. Defiance rarely works in the long run.”
But this is hard for me. I love the tingle of perennial youth. My inner vision suits up, ready to have a go at the burly outer images I see in the mirror, so tangible and sure of themselves. Inner youth against Outer reality. Game on.
Game over. The lights go out, the teams pack up their gear, and stunned, I run to the parking lot. “No,” I yell at the top of my lungs. “Come back. This isn’t over.” My inner vision limps as it boards the bus for home. Life is too damn short for all this Outer reality.
I glimpse my image in the calmer part of the river, my bones giving way to water. It’s clear I’ll be gone someday. I wonder how to break this news to God. I know God will miss me terribly, and I’m sad about that. It occurs to me that I will miss myself as well.