His skin was crumpled and creased as a used and discarded cloth,markings like hieroglyphics were spread across his face. Specks of his peppery younger days screamed through his salty hair. He stared down at the black-inked words glaring back at him. He was vulnerable and so they struck. The thieves threw a long rope bound by karma and tightened by fate around the man's neck. They yanked his head down heaving like sailors bringing in a boat to shore. The thieves quietly stepped in with loud hushes shared between them. Silence became them and any sound made echoed wide. They arched their backs and stretched out their hands and squeezed and pulled it with all their strength. The old man awoke and found his sight was taken.
He knitted his anger and pain into a long, heavy scarf and draped it around his neck. It became precious to him as a reminder of what he had lost. He clung to this scarf as a child clings to its mother's familiar arms. He lost more than the vibrant greens in the pastures and his late wife's vibrant yellow flowers that kissed his aching heart every morning. A young him strutted in his home. Wafts of a mountain brook, grounded parsley, and hints of mint swam to the old man. His grandson engulfed him like a black hole sucking everything in. He held his grandson tight, hoping his youth would drip like an elixir for his pain.
Yet time was still making a joke of him as it does with all those who live long enough for the punchline. The old man could once take steps swiftly without tripping on his breath. The old man could once lift a spoon and climb inside a pot of wonders of his own making. He swallowed those days with books hoping to ease his hunger. He felt like an alien tree over the years, absorbing all waters of others that he had hurt, and now he was afraid he might drown. His grandson scratched the wooden chair against the recently polished floors making a sound of a squealing pig. He drags it nearer and nearer as the unsettling sound takes centre stage in the room. The mountain brook, ground parsley, and mint were balled up and baked wafting the familiar smell. The grandson's voice was like scrunched autumn leaves when he uttered words from a book.’’It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…’’
The old man felt as though he was withering away.
He raised his wrinkled fingers and commanded silence with this single motion. His voice crackled like a scratched CD as he said, "Take me to her ".His grandson knew. He seated him gently down on the damply soft pillow of the earth. He untangled the scarf clinging to his neck and let, it, go. Those flowers that kissed him with their sight he felt that day. He realised that he could find refuge in what he had with her. In her sinkhole of a yawn that he fell inside every night or in the charred, puffy yellow eggs she attempted to make for him.
The old blinded man pulled himself out of the sinking sand. He realised she was all the wisdom and secrets to life he was searching for in those books.
Aged and devoured by time he sat breathing her in and this brought spring to his winter day.