Old & Young Explained


Young: eventually, slowly and serenely allows one sleep-encrusted heavily lashed eyelid to rise warily and fitfully, nearly a full quarter of an hour in advance of the other. To take in the solid-seeming slanted late afternoon sunshine streaming through the finger-smeared panes of dusty glass of the aged loft apartment windows then glaring in sharply serrated ribbons of hot light across the rumpled futon sheets and pillows still warmed in their creased and crinkled state by the supine naked body of the attractive current companion deeply dozing still. And begins to recollect happy snapshot kaleidoscopic images of the previous extended afternoon and evening and night of well-met revelers in quirky get-ups and postured attitudes, amid a jumbled and blurred stream of interesting appetizers, taste-tested beverage concoctions, insinuating dance rhythms, convivial conversation, endless refills, bawdy badinage, awkward covert fumblings, near arguments, shared tabs, a hastily organized taxi ride to somewhere else more interesting, and then somewhere else again still more interesting. Crisp rain on pavement, the sharp olfactory tang of a late night donut shop cutely arranged and pumping out steamy scents of rising dough and airborne sugar, the sounds of night creatures, awesome herb, lustily whispered propositions, spicy side dishes, a star-flecked ultramarine sky, deeply philosophical pronouncements, breathy endearments, tortured confessions, appeals to reason, and, eventually, abandonment to passion, with a consciousness slowly crawling to the surface of a very personal and individual reality. Beginning to imagine the differential delights and delays, demands and disruptions of still another new yet rapidly expiring day, albeit with no concept nor desire to ponder too closely nor posit too carefully what might lie over any of a thousand distant unchosen horizons into the far-flung future (which may never come anyway, since we are near-immortal).

Old: painfully blinks a mismatched pair of wrinkled dry-as-dust eyelids shut once, twice, then once more, in a foolish and failing attempt to reach the placid distant shores of peaceful, restful, dream-filled ecstatic sleep, and banish the lumbering, lowering view of the darkened pre-dawn ceiling, against the maddeningly episodically erratic bark bursts of the hoarse-voiced mutt consigned to a dog run alongside the peeling ramshackle ranch down the hill. Feeling yet again the faintly burning but persistent pressure on the bladder that announces the sharp need to at least make the effort and traverse once more to the chill-tiled bathroom without actually achieving anything worthwhile, fending off — or attempting to, to put a finer point on it — the swelling sense of decrepitude, neurasthenia, uselessness, incontinence, dementia, mortality building like a metastasis from the base of the brain (if only the latest stress headache and stiff neck from hunching forlornly over the monthly bills would just get out of the way). While the varying impulses race and chase one another over the aging synaptic linkages, flitting from chances missed to lovers crossed, from songs unsung to treasures still buried, from hopes dashed to questions unanswered, from trains departed to music stilled, from secrets kept to kites unflown, from dares not taken to bridges not crossed, from cares neglected to fires banked, from letters unwritten to books unread, from words unspoken to friends betrayed, from lights dimmed to sands sifted away, from sights unseen to cares neglected, from what might once have been (and will likely never yet be) to what eventually was.

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