Goin' Home

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

This is an amateur piece I wrote. You can see how I used imagery, one thing I've always done. Obviously, their story was inspired by death. I believe in duality, where everything has two sides. I
believe this story can be interpreted several different ways. I also believe a piece of art can not be described one way. So with that, I hope you enjoy the piece.

Goin' Home

The neighborhood was eerily still this morning. It was dawn, but it felt like the sun had just set. The air smelled a little different than usual. It felt different, too. It seemed thick, almost like water. Just a day of unsettling consciousness. The old man awoke with the heaviness of the air on his chest. He ached, letting out a groan as he adjusted himself to sit. He looked out to the grey sky, lowering his head, peeking to see if he could spot a hole through the dreary day. He saw nothing but what was presented to him. He took his time to stand and walk to his bathroom across the hall.

He looked himself in the mirror, staring at his sunken eyes. He looked at his bare body, which was vastly wrinkled, much to his dismay. He stared off, as he often does at this mark of his routine. He has noticed his mind starts to wander more. His anniversary was near, maybe it was the more frequent thoughts of his wife. When she passed, he talked to himself mostly. He got into the habit of self conversation. Making scenarios in his head in which he answers made-up questions in detail. But, as years went on, he didn’t speak to himself anymore. The conversations have transitioned to a tense silence. It has just become thoughts to himself, now. Ten minutes of eternal silence and an internal scream.

He put in his face in his hands. Water splashed in his eyes, soaking his white beard. He returned to his reflection, staring at the fire which seemed to burn forever behind his eyes. He felt that it was unfortunate he couldn’t help himself but to be pessimistic anymore. His days have long since been bleek. He tried to remain grateful for what he still had. He held onto his memories, but along with these came the thoughts of regret and longing. Tragically, his thoughts are his downside. But, every day he continued, enduring life. He wiped his face with a towel, then started to change. His wrinkled body almost seemed scarred, like wounds from a battle.

Walking into is room, he kissed his fingers and pressed them against a picture on his night stand. Another mark in his routine that was never missed. It was the only time of the day where love seemed to linger for a split second. Just in that one moment of contact. The old man knew that it would probably be the only time of day, for the rest of his days, that he would feel anything remotely like it.

Although, something bizarre happened as his fingers touched the frame; he felt a spark this time. The only thing he could compare it to in his head was seeing a flash of lighting and feeling it slightly. It didn’t sting, but it made him shiver, cooling the fire behind his eyes. It was a very strange shock and, although it didn’t hurt, it made him jump. He breathed heavier as he bent down to examine the picture. To his confusion, the frame wasn’t abnormal at all. It sat on the dresser as it always had. He stood up straight and in that brief moment, he smelled his wife. 

That split second of love he had felt every day had blossomed into an overwhelming aroma. He stood still in silence, then the shiver subsided. He gazed at the picture, which was his wife. The old man returned to his reflection, now in his bedroom mirror. He sobbed, as he covered his mouth. The heavy air left his chest and hit his stomach, making him feel empty within Not emptiness as in sadness, but the emptiness you feel when you realize you can be anything; the feeling in the pit of your stomach in the moment of excitement. He felt young again. The aches vanished, and the old man cried, crouching into his knees.

After his episode, the old man grabbed two beers from his fridge. He gulped his suds and set the bottles down on his table. The heaviness moved to his throat, as he held back tears. He closed his eyes, and he smelled her again. In that moment, the old man decided to clean himself up. He trimmed his beard to proportion, cut his stray hairs, and dressed in his suit. In fact, it was the suit from his wedding. The old man felt significant to the day. He felt like he was the day.

He walked out to his porch, the sky still grey and the air was still like water. He swam to a chair, feeling like he was in slow motion. It felt like a dream. His legs were stuck in mud, but his fire was burning. His thoughts raced from his childhood, to his mother, his father, his friends, and everything that was and could have been, especially with his wife.

He sat in his rocking chair and watched a few cars pass by. The air got a little thicker, and the sky faded darker. All of a sudden, it was quiet. Slightly concerned, the old man looked down the street. He saw no cars. He looked down the other end, no cars or pedestrians either. Maybe this was a dream. As he settled back into his chair, he was surprised to see a young man standing across the street. He was still and silent, looking over at the old man.

The young man wasn’t hostile in nature. He didn’t seem threatening; he actually looked friendly. He appeared to be about twenty-something, and he was dark. Not his complexion, but his eyes were dark. Like the young man hadn’t been sleeping. Even though his eyes were sagging, he seemed cheerful, giving the old man a half grin. He smiled as he continued to stare in the old man’s direction. His hair was messy and his clothes were more than casual, but his tired eyes were sympathetic. 

The old man was suspicious. Strangely, the old man felt like the young man knew what he had been feeling all morning. But, he felt comfortable enough to let the man walk across the street, and stand in front of his house. The old man sat still in his chair.

He said nothing, nor did the other man. He seemed familiar to the old man; like he had met him somewhere before. Just as he was peering at the young lad, the old man’s face went blank. He did know him, as would anyone else. He nodded at the kid, and started to rock quietly in his chair, the heaviness vanishing from his body. The young man replied with a nod, and continued up the pathway to the old man’s house. The young man slowly walked up the wooden steps, and toward the old man. As he got closer, the sky lightened. As the old man continued to rock, he closed his eyes, and the young man touched his hand. He held it for a moment, then let go. The old man felt like he was wrapped in a warm blanket by his mother. He felt like the moment before one starts to cry for joy. He felt like he was home. The old man gradually stopped rocking. The young man slowly turned with reluctance to the steps, continuing on his way. He heard a sharp breath, and that was it.

Submitted: January 13, 2018

© Copyright 2021 JerryZ54. All rights reserved.

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