To Move Or Not To Move
A bus stop bench.
The bus stop shelter has a poster for an action hero movie.
There is a park across the street.
Theodore: Listen. Simon. Instead of just sitting here as we do every day, confusing the bus drivers who bother to stop—let’s do something. I was reading a magazine article last night that said that everything is changing faster than ever before. I suppose they probably said that back in the day when the first horseless carriage roared down this street. But it is different now—isn’t it?! We should go check. I’m not joining any apocalyptical or dystopian choirs but sometimes I swear I hear heraldry horns inviting me to some grand event—like something more genuine is beckoning.
Simon: Heraldry horns, hah! It’s just your tinnitus, Theodore. It’s an election year—the very air we breathe is filled with the promotional chatter for selecting a new emperor— who, by the way, I assure you will be wearing the latest Nothing. That’s all you’re hearing. Or maybe just the sound of Old Father Time slapping you around a bit—as he does us all on occasion. But I see that today you’ve got that look again—searching for some incitement to action, prodding the day to jumpstart your head into some expectations. I swear if you were an equestrian you’d even flog the dead ones.
Theodore: Agh. It’s been months since we’ve changed the routine. I can tell the hours by the school bus, the delivery trucks, and the lady taking her Dachshund for a crap. This bench is like fly paper. I feel like I’m just fluttering my wings—making a lot of buzzing noise—unto exhaustion.
Simon: They say if you struggle it just makes you stick more. I’m almost tempted to tell you to chill out and just go and watch some television—but you know I blame that damn tube for much of the worst there is. Sitting with yet another anxious bag of Doritos, getting exercise by watching sports, adventures by investigating crime scenes, and intellectual stimulation by getting the right answers on Jeopardy—it’s a virtual life that exists mostly for dull people to have something to talk to each other about.
Theodore: Dearest Simon . . . At our age we are both neck deep in the daily evidence that one time around is all we get. Even if we counted each season as an extra notch—a number onto its own, splitting each year into a quartet— then eighty seven years(and that’s the long shot)—four score and seven—still computes to only 348 times to reach out for yet another brass ring.
Simon: You are indeed buzzing today. You’re a bit like that lad in the story, the one that got hoodwinked by some bank advertisement into devoting his life to the cliche of creating memories. He went into overdrive to overfill his memory coffers with experience. But sadly he didn’t notice that over the years Time was quietly feeding those files into the shredder.
Theodore: C’mon, give me some credit. It’s not for collecting memories. I certainly know those fade. And the ones that do stay are at best unreliable, especially since we’re always doing regular maintenance to make sure we look our best in them. I just don’t want moss on me. No wasted breaths.
Simon: Your breaths aren’t wasted, Theodore. Look at that park across the street—those trees, many of them older than you, and all those plants—they all appreciate your every exhale. I guess maybe my foot just sits more comfortably, perhaps lazily, than yours on the brake pedal. Don’t get me wrong—I do understand your yearning — feeling the strength and wanting to throw another log on the fire.
Theodore: I know you’ve got it too, Simon. The way you talk of trees I know you are still motivated by Awe.
Simon: You rascal—now you’re throwing logs under my fire.
Theodore: Simon. You know the schedule. There will be a bus here in a minute. We can hop on board and go downtown, get a coffee, watch a different passing parade—and stop being like two bugs in a milk jug with time coagulating around us. C’mon—let’s tap our inner Groucho and exclaim: I want excitement! I want to hot-cha-cha-cha!
Simon: Oh dear, I must be catching your tinnitis—or else I think I just heard some heraldry horns.
They both stand up.
The sound of a bus approaching.
© AleXander Hirka 2019. All Rights Reserved.
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