The old man rearranges his seat to look out towards the calm sea under the setting sun. It is humid around him; his white thin shirt is parted to expose the scars along his bare chest. His green eyes have dimmed a dark lime over the many years of his life and his hair has escaped any particular color other than a lifeless one. The staff he has clung to all his life is left stagnant on the empty hard wooden floor beneath him; his once vigorous hands now helplessly cling to the stainless clear glass. He lifts his drink and takes a swig of its contents; it is smooth and cool, comforting his soul in an unordinary way. He places it back on the stern wooden table to the right of him, and then leans against the soft cushion behind him as someone takes the empty seat next to him. The guest takes off the cloak covering his dark eyes, glaring back at the old man, then stares also into the blue abyss.
“How long have you been looking at the world?” The guest asks,
“I wouldn’t be able to tell you anymore.” The old man says partial glancing at the cloaked figured.
“Does it ever change?” The guest asks,
“It is the only thing that has been consistent in my life.”
“Is the world always changing?” The guest asks,
“Yes indeed and it is just a matter of how you can adapt to it.” The old man says,
“Have you adapted to it?” The guest asks,
“As much as I can, yet there is always that chink in the chain of time which throws me off. It rushes past so fast you are not even able to respond quick enough before it is over.” The old man says,
“And that is when you turn towards the sky?” The guest asks,
“That’s when you realize you are only human.”
The old man peers around the room. He sees some other drowned faces scattered around the tranquil waiting room, all dressed in white clothes. Some he recognizes but can’t remember their names or from they may have met. The deceitful bartender is mixing elixirs for all patrons in order for their forgetfulness to continue. The old man removes his glasses from his tan skin and whips them with a brittle cloth. He takes another swig of the dark ale and eyes the suns downward motion.
“Do you have regrets?” The guest asks,
“It matters what you mean by regrets. If you mean something I regret doing out of my own actions I would say no cause I am where I wanted to be. Yet the immediate obstacles plaguing me because of things out of my control; then yes, I regret not having control.”
“What do you mean control?” The guest asks,
“To have the power to mold my own existence.”
“Don’t you have such power?” The guest asks,
“Not really, so much is left to uncertainty, or perhaps in others hands.”
“What about your life, did it have any meaning?” The guest asks,
“Did it need one?”
“Usually a person searches ones life for meaning do they not?” The guest asks,
“Perhaps, but give me a second to offer you an answer.”
The old man rubs the rough gray hairs on his chin, feeling like sandpaper upon marble stone. He massages his thin pure hair, searching for meaning in its strains.
“Of all I have seen, it just seems that the meaning is to be here and now.” The old man says,
“So in your younger age you longed for this very moment?” The guest asks,
“Of course not, my dreams have altered with time.”
“But not one stood stationed as the grains of sand dropped upon your head?” The guest asks,
“I only wanted two things, to know love and to know truth.”
“And you never found either?” The guest asks,
“It is a fleeting fantasy to believe either exists.”
“Why do you say that?” The guest asks,
“If you live in this world, you can come to no other conclusion. It is one with constant strife and horrors besides the obvious moments of repose. Yet, with the blood of many on my hands from the fighting, even of the women I loved dearly, it becomes hard to imagine something better. Something other than what is in front of you; that in which is there is so miniscule to grab hold and too vast to understand. You can never stop the screaming in your head from the paradoxes that corrupt its rational thought process, up until death. Do they stop? Who knows…?”