Monday, August 13, 2007

"Saints in Waiting"

An old man hovers in the waiting area at midnight with his small, blue eyes muddied from years of alcohol and smoke. I ask him if I can help him and he opens his mouth, teeth rotting, breath laced with drink telling me he needs to talk. He starts with his worries no one loves me nervously touching his face sickness in his family, wrongs and rights committed unto others, love and sadness, old war times, and how the wife tells him to SHUT UP you bastard. Loving words spill from him about his dead father, a man always on the straight and narrow, a man who spoke line after line from the Bible in stern tone. He speaks of his two sisters both smart and good looking, accomplished teachers and nurses, his insignificance apparent, of their distance (with)in geographical closeness. Plastic covered pictures flipped, neat faces of children and grandchildren he never sees or holds run by, animated. He tells me of the time his son hugged him for no reason, tears welling in his eyes, rims red and moist as he carefully touches them away can’t waste what little I have. I stand there with shades of (in)difference, thinking of stories about old beggars at the roadside whom no one will help Will work for food prophets, deities, monks saints in waiting, testing the fiber of humanity, testing the soul’s moral fortitude Aleathia Drehmer 2007

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