Boy on Bedside

All of a sudden after days of pre-thought, he was on the corner of her bed, looking at her as she neared her end. She was now so very, very old, emaciated to a point of being difficult to look at, at least at first, lying at what seemed to him like an uncomfortable angle but which for her, in this state, was comfortable. A light blanket covered most of her body except for one of her feet, and he looked from there up to her face, and back to her foot, both ends telling a different story. There was nothing to say. There was nothing for either of them to say. Indeed, the saying of things, conversation as it is known, was, there and then, undone. And as they looked at each other, they looked equally at the helpless, plastic words that sat on the bedclothes like pooling beads from string, doing nothing, going nowhere, tapping up against each other. He, younger by sixty years, in the thick of his wretched optimism, felt that he’d been lovingly put in his place, there by her bedside. She, who’d never seemed to care to know all that much of anything, whose eyes were grey glass, drifting…drifting…was making space now, a home for a visiting authority that came but twice a life.

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