there is an old man

train station cyan

There is an old man who keeps shuffling back and forth behind my chair and he is carrying an old shopping bag and he is extremely annoying and he is shuffling and he is old and tired and he will die soon with his shopping bag clasped in his broken-with-work fingers and no one will remember him and if they do remember him they will not relish the memory because it is disturbing and they do not like to be disturbed because it upsets their daily routine of mediocre-middle-class happiness.  He may, perhaps, just live forever and slowly watch those who wait for him to die, die, and then he will be the victor and he will stop shuffling and he will rise and continue and rise and continue because he, at one point in time, shut himself off from all mediocrity and became decrepit and irresolute toward others and he will not care, does not care, has not cared, oh these many years–because he shuffles without reason, without thought, without caring either, he has won.

[from the author’s journal–dated December 17, 1975]


2 Responses to “there is an old man”

  1. November 15, 2009 at 11:34 am

    These are depressing but meaningful words…..

  2. 2 robtpatrick
    November 15, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I spoke with my uncle this morning–he has Alzheimer’s–and although he sounds good (and healthy), there’s a hollowness to his voice that’s quite unforgettable. He is completely in the present; there is no past and only occasional flickers of a future (“I want to get out of here.”)
    Cause and effect for this post.

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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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