MEN on the VERGE


He should have known better; the extended mid-life crisis knocking at the door, this time announcing catastrophe – beyond riverbanks, he could see the graveyards waiting. Retirement plans? Nope. Up in smoke, like breakfast this morning – a small fire burning and grieving. How old are you? 100th and counting. Depression? How are you? I wasn’t sure you were coming. I see children playing in wondrous abandon – sticks and stones, and bikes in the back alleys.

Should I be panicking now? Aging is a heavy burden to carry, more so when one feels rightly or wrongly dejected, somebody’s problem, a tiresome entity seeking refuge at the sunset of a life soon to be exhausted. He wishes to dance still, around the earth, perhaps surrounded by his closest friends and companions. I should bring my guitar … Who has he become? What shall we call him? Certainly not an Italian supermodel, or a hardworking farm boy, or an illegal immigrant.

Falling, and falling, life was becoming a strange curiosity, finding himself between conflicting claims, survival instincts, and rare abstractions to be buried or at least disguised as “normal” – he has been unseen for a while, but to his closest friends, he was still a person – our brother’s keepers, in a manner of speaking. The pain was raw; he wasn’t as smart as he once thought of himself; there was no road to paradise, only a constant path to Babylon.

© Leo Campos Aldunez

Edmonton (AB) Canada

Song: Down to the River to Pray

https://youtu.be/yA94rO2Kutg

By Sonya Isaacs – Alison Krauss

American Folk Songbook ©

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