The Old Man & the Seat

At the top of the hill lives an old man in an old house with a will to walk much stronger than his legs. He is a series of shuffles and waves and long pauses that feel like a moment and look like forever. His sidewalk is littered with chairs like stepping stones. Each seat is a goal, between them a journey.

I stand on my front step, a witness to his great adventure. Dogs bark and howl. Bicycles come and go. Geese fly over and honk at cars. He cannot hear any of it, but he’ll sit a spell and watch it pass. The pause. The moment.

Once he has gathered enough of himself to carry on he does just that. A breath. A step. A stop. The dogs. The bikes. The geese. It is a play. A game. A lesson learned. It is musical chairs in reverse: One old man, too many seats, and the absence of a song.

I stand on my front step, a witness to his routine. A spy upon his solitary dance. Each chair a memory. He shuffles his feet in a world far away, and I hum a little something for the two of us.

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