Wednesday, October 6, 2010


It was a flat gray sky and a cool light breeze that still carried the smell of the fresh rain that came overnight.  The day he had waited for all of his life was finally here.  He had waited a long time for this moment and had worked hard to get to this point in his life where he felt good about it.

He made his way down the wet street not bothering to sidestep the puddles that were left from the over night's rain.  He could feel a little dampness seep into the old shoe but he wasn't going to let that bother him now, not today.  Nothing would have the power to bother him today. 

His thoughts began to drift back to the beginnings of this career and all the troubles he had been through.  He doted on the problems he had caused over the years and the lessons from his mistakes that he never seemed to learn.  Promotions had been few and very far between.  A couple of times he had actually been brought back down for mistakes that were made.  No connection ever seemed to be made with people that he had to deal with for some reason.  Maybe it was because he was withdrawn and shy or possibly because he was just scared to make any kind of connections.  Besides, people that he did make a small contact with would turn on him eventually.

Yes it had been a long time coming, this retirement day, but it was finally here.  From now on, everything would be in his hands and he wouldn't have to get up every morning only to march to the beating drums of society.

He was retiring early, not even close to retirement age.  He knew that after today, people would forget he was retired and go about their daily affairs.  They would still get up every morning at the same time and head out on the streets toward whatever they had to do.  He was done with that now.  He felt he had earned this early retirement and he was ready to have a relaxing time in it.

The clouds started breaking up and bits of sunshine peeked through the clouds, highlighting the yellows of the color changing trees and drifting on down to light up the water still sitting on the leaves of glistening grass.  He turned off of the street and headed off onto a muddy little path in the trees.  His feet began to slip a bit as his shoes muddied but he paid no mind.  There would be no more worrying about muddied shoes.  He had not even bothered to shave his face earlier in the day.  Now that he was retiring, he would never shave again he thought. 

The clouds were almost completely gone now and as he walked down the path, the sunlight sent little spotlights of light onto the path, like the end of a Jimmy Durante show he thought.  He could picture Durante getting up from that piano, tip his hat, turn and start walking down the path of spotlights on the stage.  Classic exit that he was duplicating in his retirement.

Finally he came to the open place in the small wooded area.  The grass was not too high, but was wet.  The sun shone brightly and the breeze touched his cheek cooling it a bit against the sunshine. 

Walking out to the middle of the field, he began digging his hands into his pocket and found the bottle he was looking for and clutched it tightly.  Sitting down on the ground, in the grass he took a look around.  He saw the trees, mostly green with just a hint of yellow with the blue of the sky and the gray clouds off in the distance painting a background for them.  He opened the bottle of pills and tilted his head back and swallowed several times until they all had worked their way down his throat. 

He laid his head back on the damp grass and feeling the warm sun on his face, closed his eyes and began his retirement.

Bill Clark   10-04-02

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