Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2230388-A-Hole-In-Reality
by Paul
Rated: E · Short Story · Emotional · #2230388
No one sees old people.
         “Hi, my names Ian, what’s yours?”
         “Stephen. I just found this little park.”
         “I come pretty much every day. I get to talk to a bunch of people. A lot of high schoolers when schools in, it’s a shortcut for them. They know I never repeat anything and I never judge. I get asked a lot of questions because they trust me. I love it. So what brings you here for the first time?”
         “I needed a place to contemplate bad news.”
         “Sorry about that, you look down, your wife or one of your kids?”
         “No. My wife’s been gone for five years and we never had kids. It’s me, I just found out I only have a short time left and I wanted to watch people enjoying life.”
         “There’s a lot of that here. That woman over there is Shelly and her girls are Miri and Joy. They keep my energy up so I unofficially adopted them. They remind me of my grandkids. I’ll introduce you to them, and others, we’re a friendly group.”
         “Not right now, thank you.”
         “I’m a retired engineer and come here a lot. I love little towns, I live ‘bout a half-mile north so I walk. Where do you live?”
         “The other side of town, on Henderson.”
         “I know the area, nice neighborhood, been there long?”
         “Ginny, Virginia, my wife for 35 years and I lived there 20 years before she died. I sold it a month ago intending to move, but now I don’t know what to do with the money. I don’t want the government to just suck-it-up.”
         “So, you’re going to die. Sorry to hear that, I’m 78 and I’ve been watching that door sneak closer, wondering when I’ll have to walk through it. I’m ready, said all my goodbyes and told everyone they’d better get theirs done. Shit, nobody listens to old farts like me.”
         “That’s so true, I’m 74 and feel like a hole in reality at times, nobody really sees me any more.”
         “Do something crazy like singing at the top of your lungs on a street corner, that’ll get you noticed.”
         “I couldn’t.”
         “Why not? I did and it was wonderful, I got a standing ovation from 50 people, including a cop. A wonderful memory. Let’s do a duet for your first. There are several local charities I’d recommend for your money. We can talk more later. It was great talking to you, gotta go, have a doctors appointment, how about meeting here tomorrow?”
         ”You might want to rethink that handshake, I’ve just been tested positive for the virus. I came here to say goodbye to the world, thank you for helping me.”
         “Whoa, that’s a bummer. Look, why don’t we get together every day you can then when you can’t I’ll come visit you if they let me. Maybe you’ll conquer it and we can continue this here in the park when your stronger again.”
         “Thank you, Ian.”
         “You're welcome, Stephen, tomorrow?”
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