Just another old man .

A story of endings or beginnings

Walking much slower now , though I wonder even now why ? , and making my way up the old two track path to the old log camp , I stop occasionally to gather my strength . I turn once and look back at the old truck I had parked across the trail so no one would come in here . The dappling golden sunset glinted across the old flat windshield and reflected on the bark of the big pine trees. My God ! The ravens are loud this evening , I watch as they drift high above the upper pine bows in and out of the warm thermals . Once in a while one of them lites in a tree above me and makes thet scratchy squawking sound that seems so loud and raucous . I feel an involuntary smile form on my tired old face and think way back to the days when I had first built this little hideaway .

Let's see , 40 years ago ,.......My god , has it been that long ? But yes , it seemed longer at times though . I stop in front of the cabin and look up , the door was latched although I never locked the door once , .........I always figured , what if someone really needed to get in and get worm and maybe would look into the old cabinets and find some canned food that I always left here . What if ? And once in a while someone had ! Oh yea , the teenagers went in once in a while and made a mess but , ......."Hell , that's what teens are for anyway ! Isn't it ? " ........I say to no one there , As I turn and sit down in one of the old rockers and take a deep painful breath .

The doctors had answered me what , two years ago ? , " John , I can't give you more than three or four months more to live , That growth has returned "! Hell !, I guess I fooled them all . I always figured a doctor don't know much at all about you at all , unless you tell them anyways . A chill begins to work it's way into my old wool hunting coat and my old brittle bones too . Just as a strong gust of wind comes lifting through the pines . The only sounds though are from the whitewater brook off the end of the porch and the ravens high overhead . I seem to recall that once I could hear alot better too . And yet ! As I watch the lifting pine branches above I think . There is an awesome beauty as well to the silence of movement in nature .........

I must have drifted off to sleep, ............because as I awaken , I realize that dusk has begun its nocturnal journey through the pine forest . The strong musky scent of pine pitch and the decaying pine needles below the massive tree trunks gives off a pleasant aroma . I reach back and pull the old wool blankets down and over the rocker and cover my shoulders as the pine sis-kens and a barred owl come alive , the chicka-dees and a blue jay flutter across the front of the porch roof . And , in the distance , I hear the low beginning howl of the wolf pack leader , "Ahh , you're still here my old friends "............. .

The cold begins to seep in as I reach into my jacket and pull out the shiny flask and as I take a deep swallow of the burning liquid fire , The pain in the side of my head subsides for awhile as I drift in and out of consciousness ,..............

I had decided before , that when the time comes close to dieing , I was going to die right here . That I would just sit here until the end ......hunger is no longer an issue for me , I haven't eaten much at all in days . there is only the pain , and pain is only a frame of mind now isn't it ! ......I awaken in the darkness and for a moment I don't quite know where I am , but as my thoughts come together I become aware of the grey ,pink skyline to the east where the sun will rise one more time . The cold air has snaked it's way into my blankets and a chill finds me shaking uncontrollably .

My thoughts become slow and clear , and as the sky begins to lighten , the brook nearby chortles away in a peaceful rhyme , I listen as the birds begin to welcome in the new day , for them at least . For me however , ..........my last . I pull the flask from my coat and drink the last of the liquid fire , ........yet I'm left with only a peaceful feeling as the fire inside lessons the aching in my head once again ..............My vision clouds as I try to focus on the trees overhead , yet in my mind I begin to drift in and out of visions of the past .......my wife , now gone too , my children off living in their own worlds . And those gone before me , I see faces of loved ones , some gone for years and images of old lovers too pass through as well.
Its getting closer , I can tell ...................And just as the warming sun turns the corner of the walls of the porch and strike my shoulders I begin to feel nothing at all in my body and I realize , this isn't so bad .............the sounds of nature have blended with these visions of pleasure , dreams and memories , in visions I see the perfect flesh of my younger lovers and the birthing of a son , .........the smile of my daughter's beauty and as the sun warms my back and shoulders like a women's hand on my cheek .........I feel a hand take my shoulder and whisper ..........' it's time to go now , sleep my child sleep "................




Comments 10 comments

shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

Man... I gotta tell ya... fantastic writing. I am enraptured by the tale you weave. A bit misty eyes while reading it but what an awesome story you tell. And what a great life he led. The journey only just beginning. Voting up and sharing,


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

This is awesome and beautiful. If I had the choice of where to spend my last day on Earth, that is the kind of place I would go too. Extremely well written.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago Author

Beckie , thank you ! Yes you're right , 'a journey just beginning" !


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Your writing takes me on the journey. I could vividly see the old man and the surroundings, i could almost hear the Raven. Beautifully written! Loved it.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago Author

Me toooo ! Becky Katz! me too ! Thank you !


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago Author

Hi always ! I dont quite know what I could write without comments like yours ! Thank you as Always !.....Ed


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. An incredible journey following along in the old man's steps and yes, the way he sat there till the end it isn't a bad way to go at all. Loved this. Passing it on.


Ghaelach 4 years ago

If it were possible I'd like to sit outside my granddads farm house looking up at the Mourne Mountains in Rostrevor N.Ireland.

Hope I don't end up in an old folks home here in Germany. Better they take me out to an old shack in the woods and let me go quietly.

An awesome story in which your man went how he had wished.

LOL Ghaelach


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Gypsy , You my friend are the cats meow, you're so awesome !


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago Author

Wow , Ghealach , Leave me close to my home I guess ! Ahh who knows , maybe we won't be conscience of any of it !........Peace annd serenity is all I hope for !

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