Wednesday, February 4, 2009
His eyes were getting tired, the lids sliding over his iris, and now pupil. The progression was slow, but it was steady. Now his eyelids were at the bottom of his irises. They were a deep, true brown. The boy had beautiful eyes. They spoke verily of innocence, a pure nature, and kindness. A good heart cannot be taught, but rather it is found to be intrinsic in those that possess it. However, a heart can only remain as good as those around it. Often good people are manipulated, and their good natures are corrupted and hurt deeply. Another person could gaze deeply into the eyes of this young boy, and know instantly of his nature. His large and loving heart was this boy’s greatest gift and curse, for he loved and trusted others truly and fully; we can only hope that others do not try and abuse this. His lids now covered his eyes completely, and the boy slipped into slumber. His nostrils worked quietly and easily. His necklace clinked lightly as it shifted positions to best abide by gravity. So did his body, as the boy himself slid into a reclined position in his seat at the bus stop. As quietly and softly as the boy fell into dreams, his pattern of waking functioned quite inversely as the sound of boots approaching reached his sensitive ears. The boy’s eyelids now jerked open, and his body righted itself to sitting upright and attentive. For a moment, the boy had imagined that he had fell asleep in the classroom, and the nearing man was his professor. Indeed, he discovered that he was incorrect as his now observant eyes climbed to the face of the visitor. The face of this man was hidden beneath wrinkles that spoke of wisdom, the kinds of wrinkles that the boy imagined a sage to possess. The man had a lovely white beard, and sparkling blue eyes. He had tufts of hair sprouting from his ears as well. His clothes looked both carefully taken care of, and slightly tattered. They were clean, and quaint, but his trousers had a few well-hidden patches. His shirt looked of good quality, but certainly well-worn. The aged man sat slowly into the bus stop’s green bench.
The boy stared, not intrusively, but also unabashedly, into the clear blue eyes of the old man. The boy liked the sparkle that lived in the old man’s eyes, a signal of a certain vitality that the man had not lost in old age. Slowly, the man’s head turned to meet the quizzical gaze of the young boy. They stared deep into the other’s visage, and neither let their gaze fall. This was not a struggle of bravery to see who would stare the other down, but rather a conversation with no words. Inherently, they understood the nature of the other’s to be similar to their own, and also knew that the other was aware of the very same fact. Placing this greeting into words, the man said hello to the boy softly. His voice was rich, and it flowed softly and musically into the boy’s ears. The boy returned the greeting without hesitation or fear of the authority that the older man possessed. Somehow, the boy realized that the conversation they had just had between eyes transcended the common societal rules of proper respect to elders. The boy also realized that such rules were only instilled so as to limit the amount of deep conversation that could exist between peoples of vast social ranges. The man smiled in a petite way that was warming to the boy, and looked off into the distance. He too, was aware of all that the boy had conveyed with his quick response, and was not offended in the least by it. The man asked the boy wether or not he attended school in town. The boy also looked to the distance, in the supposed direction of his school and said yes, that he did. He also added that break had just begun, and this bus would take him to his parents and sister in the countryside. Memories whirled in the old man’s mind of the times when he was young, and went to school with his friends. He knew that he had not been much different from the boy sitting by his side. The man inhaled lightly, but audibly. His thin frame shook softly, his proud beard shivering in tandem. His wrinkles relaxed with the breath, and his body seemed to sag into the seat. Off in the distance, the man’s eyes spied a cemetery. The boy looked into the older man’s face, and asked wether or not he was afraid of death, and the prospect of departing from this world. The man said, in a deep, smooth voice that the idea of death was no longer frightening to him. Most of the people he had loved deeply were gone now, and had left him to reside alone on this earth. He told the boy that when he had been younger, he had indeed been terrified by the thought of death, but he had slowly become to be friends with that part of life, and was ready, now, in old age, to face such a horizon. The boy nodded curtly, and thought of what the old man had said. He realized that he would miss the old man if he left, and told him so. The man smiled, and looked back into the face of the boy. The man said to the boy with a wry smile that indeed, the boy had not known him for more than a few minutes. The boy smiled as well, and disagreed with the man. He said that they had known each other for more than time, that time was not the only factor in caring. The boy said that many a relationship had been fostered on the basis of a fundamental sense of being that two people could share.
The man looked off again into the distance, to the cemetery, and thought about what the boy had just said. It was, in fact, true. The man then realized, that the boy seated at his side was, in a way, his son. The old man took the soft hand of the boy in his, and thought suddenly about all his life. It was like a film show as it flew in front of his brilliant eyes. At the same time, it was both beautiful and painful as he paid homage to lost love, and true sorrow. But he saw pleasure too, with those who he had known, and truly gotten to understand. The aged man’s eyelids slid slowly down the whites of his eyes, then to his irises, the pupils, then down the last of his spectacular blue eyes. Like a submarine hatchway, his eyelids closed. The man’s huge hand squeezed upon the soft hand of the boy. Here this ancient man sat, and was happy. He knew now that he had been blessed to live such a life as he had.
The boy also squeezed the hand of the elder man. Off in the distance, the boy could make out beautiful headstones over graves of people once loved, but now gone. He knew that the old man whom he had grown to love had just died. A lone, bold tear slid down the boy’s soft cheek. He knew that it had been time.