Wednesday, November 3, 2010


    He was a little old man, who lived in a little old house on a little old street, in a little old town; but that wasn't what, where or who he wanted to be.  He knew that he was destined for far greater things, but what they were to be was just beyond his grasp. So, he lived his little old life day after day, each day resembling the past in an endless monotonous cycle.
    Every day, he was up with the rising sun. Every morning he ate a small breakfast of toast and jam. He read the daily newspaper, making sure to save the crossword puzzle for last. He tended the small garden every day in the early afternoons, and always followed this by lunch on the back porch. Here he watched the day crawl past in its usual way, until get again it was time to prepare his small supper.
    He did not ever seem to have an appetite after his Martha passed earlier last year, but he made sure to eat enough each day because its what she would have wanted, and it was his one true pleasure left in life to know that he was doing things that would have made her happy.
    He forced himself to smile at her memory. It was hard without her, but he'd certainly proved they he could fend for himself. He hated to admit It, but he was bored.
    This was not the type of boredom that resolved by doing the household chores (of which he'd had enough), or by doing the daily crossword puzzle (which he had been doing faithfully since he was a child). It was a boredom that was so all encompassing that the old man did not know what to do.  He was truly at his wits end with himself, with life, and with the whole world all around him.
    "Something's got to change" he thought to himself. Another day of this monotony would be the end of him, and he knew it.
    "Today is the day," he thought as he smiled.  "Today is the day everything changes." He suddenly frowned, realizing that he didn't quite know what to do, but it was as good a day as ever to start.
    He quietly resumed his breakfast, but did not pick up the newspaper as usual.  Instead, he had a yellow legal pad of paper, and quickly began writing, carefully numbering along the left side of the paper. The page was boldly headed: The hundred things I'd like to do before I die.  Quickly, he began filling in the list, and had it almost complete before his coffee had gone cold. 
    The old man carefully assessed his list, before folding it neatly and placing it into his chest pocket.  He finished his coffee, and carefully rinsed the cup, saucer, and spoon as always, and placed it gently into the dish rack.  He went upstairs to his room, and carefully prepared himself for the day to come. Glancing at the picture of his wife, he shook his head sadly.
    "Martha, I know that this is something you probably wouldn't like, but I just can't do it anymore." he whispered as he brushed his fingers against her smiling face. "We'll talk about it later, okay?"  He imagined that his neighbors would think him crazy for talking to a photograph, but he made a point to say good morning and good night, and to talk his most important decisions over with her.  "I promise honey, I'll be home soon, I could never leave you behind for that long."
    Carefully, he packed a small bag of toiletries, and packed a small overnight bag.  "It's time.  Lets go and do it!" he said to the empty room as he turned and headed to the front door.  Grabbing his keys, he carefully locked the door, and with a look of determination, he began the long walk to the corner to catch the bus.

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