Time to Go

Photo by Quinton Coetzee on Unsplash

The need to relieve myself finally pulls me from my dreams.

I unwrap myself from the covers and make my way to the bathroom in the dark.

The son is the father of the man.

A line from a Wordsworth poem–I make a mental note to look it up tomorrow, knowing I will forget both the verse and the note in minutes.

So many sleepless nights in this new land. Stomach acid? Just ten years ago, I might have laughed at such an idea. But ahh, now I’m here, and I’m not laughing: a permanent resident of this new land of the aged and infirm.

Don’t get me started on the frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom, a regular occurrence in the land beyond sixty.

Nighttime mirrors freak me out; there’s something disturbing about reflections in the dark, something wrong, sinister even. It’s best not to look, I tell myself. I usually avert my eyes.

I stumble past the tiny vanity, keeping my eyes cast slightly to the right to avoid looking at the darkened mirror. I could turn a light on, but if I do that, I will end up on my phone, scrolling for hours.

Some flash of light zips by me. I’ve learned to hold my grasp on reality loosely. It works out the best that way.

Where has my life gotten? Is this it? Is this all there is? What am I living for?

I drop the questions. No good ever comes from them. I’ll end up ruminating, which will lead me back to my phone and more doom-scrolling, googling medical symptoms, and researching the warning signs for moles. Ugh.

What was that light? I peer over my shoulder, back toward my bed, carefully skirting past the darkened devil mirror.

That can’t be right.

I see a man-shaped bump under my mountain of blankets and pillows.

But if I’m there…, how am I…

I look down at the toilet as my tiny studio fills with light, and I am gone.

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