So many unhappy faces these days in places where the bad things that are happening are almost always just rumors.
What were the expectations of all of these visages who were once somebody’s newest sensation? and now they vie for a crappy desk job to keep them insured in case they get tumors.
Or, they haven’t reached that stage as of yet, but already sense that the world they will enter to claim as their own is already owned by the few who have always been able to pay someone to tell them that they are still the newest sensation?
Or, maybe they are unhappy because they didn’t get the pair of shoes they’d ordered within the two hour time promised to them, or the shoes were the wrong shade of color, or the weather is slightly too hot, too cold, too sunny, too cloudy?
Maybe they see my face and are reminded that their time in the sun will be mercilessly brief, before they are cast into the clear mold of old that holds most of us in a death grip for most of our lives.
Or, could it be that just a few seconds ago, I was in a completely different universe where everyone smiled at me and knew me and asked how my day was, and something happened–a great cosmic shift–and threw me into this one where I woke up with all of these memories as if I’d lived here my entire life?
The giant bald patch on the top of my head and the premature gray that covers the remaining hair lets me know that this life was probably over before it started a long time ago.
The child in the other room who shrieks with his grandparents doesn’t seem to care yet how old his daddy looks, or the fact that his daddy mostly reads books instead of fighting fires or terrorists.
I’m not hanging on, but I’m not letting go. I’m not giving up, but I’m not fighting for anything, either. I’m standing outside with my old, faithful dog who still lunges at the leash at the age of eleven, and wonder what she’ll say to them about me when she gets to heaven.
She’ll remark that I was mostly a good dog dad, but I clearly had my issues. I was no saint, but I usually sinned with some injection of righteous anger, albeit anger that was always misplaced, unnecessary and unproductive.
Maybe my dog won’t remember me at all when she dies and heads on up to doggy heaven–the endless treats and fields full of squirrels and back-scratching grass will be all that she ever craved, and her time down here with me will wither away like a miserable choked premature fruit on a tree.
And so it will go that all of the good that I did will be interred in bones left for dogs up in doggy heaven to unearth and rebury with nary a sniff, wag or pant to acknowledge that somewhere deep in the marrow of said bones lies the meat of simple, happy memories we both mutually share.