Enter a naive feeble-minded soul expelled from the timeless paradise of childhood. Discovery’s joy soured by history’s cruelty. Inured of oblivion’s dread by vicissitude’s torment. Suffering the twilight of an unremarkable life, saddened and crushed by personal and professional ineptitude, yet still in awe and wonder at a precarious impromptu in this marvellous, deadly circus of life.
When the impenetrable greyness at the end of life is no longer a distant fear but an enveloping fact, when tendrils of death drag harder on one’s heels, it’s time to confront the worth of a careless life.
I stand at the doorway where time stops, where light claims the pure, burning the fallen, void the agnostic, quietly dreading an inevitable encounter with that paradox named eternity.
Fortune led me here, to the precipice of life, with precious little time to reflect. From this vantage, I see the fading path of life strewn with sorrows and regrets, wasted in lost hopes and squandered chances.
Senescence is a dim and lonely realm of smouldering guilt, spent virtue, and sins like embers to scorch a mournful soul.
The threshold creeps nearer, instant by instant, a shimmering gateway to an enigma unknowable, the destination of every person that was.
I stand at the brink on my own terms, neither rushed by disease nor thrown by accident. Ghosts less fortunate hurtle by into that misty abyss – some unknowing, all unwilling, and, for so many, far too cruelly.
Who has time to think of death except the aged, diseased, or condemned? Who else would pause to talk with angels of death, or give more than a casual thought to those unwonted companions?
Now I am old… drunk on wine and candle fumes. Alone in this barren room, I speak my psalms to the night air to entertain moths before they go off to die.
~ Roman Payne
Should you wonder what age does to the mind, I can tell you. Then I might share what little regard I have for the mind.
With both feet resolutely set upon their eighth decade, I see permutations of the future in quick decline as options evaporate in sad finality. Fading, too, is the will to live.
Joyfulness and impending oblivion don’t easily coexist. This I lament.
My partner is old, grey, withered, and toothless. I have never been more in love with her. Tormented by schizophrenia, she lives a literal waking nightmare in a world of fluidity that would terrify the most fearless of us.
I am the least phantasmagoric, most trustworthy, element in the paranoia that stalks her sanity.
I am surrounded by beloved artefacts, trinkets, and treasures collected across a lifetime. Memories as hardware, on shelves, in corners, hanging from walls. On the day of my demise they will crumble as junk. The world of achievement and aspiration they signify will evaporate.
My ghost will haunt the memories of the few who knew me. A different person in each.