Thursday, September 09, 2004

(*) I've had it

I was walking home from town on late Saturday arvo, when I saw what at first I thought was a drunk asleep on the footpath outside the radio station. Then as I got a bit closer, I realised it was an elderly chap who'd simply fallen over! I dropped my bags and ran the 50 feet to help him up. He was flat on his back, not in any pain, but simply unable to get upright on his own. There was no-one else around at this time of day, so I thought he might be hurt or something, cursing myself that I'd left my mobile at home. But he smiled tiredly up at me, and gratefully accepted my helping-hand up. After I eased him upright again, he steadied himself on his feet with his walking stick. Looking me straight in the eye over his flip clip-on sunnies, he said something that really stuck deeply in my mind.

"I've had it."

It wasn't simply that he was tired that day after a long walk. What he really meant was that the best part of his life was behind him, and he didn't see himself having much hope for the rest of his shortening life. His body had simply worn itself out. "I've had it." He didn't say it with sadness, just very matter-of-factly. He thanked me as he walked off slowly, as I made sure he was going to be alright. But I couldn't get that line out of my head.

"I've had it."

Will I reach that point in my life one day, when I realise that the best of my bodily-life is already behind me, when my body is failing me, and there's not a damn thing I can do about it? It echoed thru my mind for hours... hmmm...

No answers, of course.

Mal :o)
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"If we see light at the end of the tunnel, it's the light of the oncoming train." (Robert Lowell)


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