“Good morning,” He grumbled as I walked by towards the cooler in the back.
A myriad of choices greeted me as I tried to decide what to drink. Milk? Gatorade? Coca-cola? I reached in and finally pulled out an ice cold Gatorade.
“Kinda quiet this morning,” I said trying to make small talk as I stepped up to the counter.
“Yeah, we don’t see much business this time of the day,” He replied nonchalantly.
A grungy looking fellow then came walking in and headed straight back for the beer cooler. The shopkeeper warily watched him as he pulled out a twelve pack of Budweiser. I had smelled alcohol when he walked by. He reeked of it. The fellow then took his place behind me in line.
“Have a good morning,” I said as the shopkeeper handed me my change and I headed out for the rest of my hike.
The shopkeeper grumbled something to the effect of, “you too.”
Mile six found me walking to a steadily falling drizzle. My hair grew wet and my pull-over grew damp. Luckily, it was very warm this morning so I didn’t have any fears of catching a cold or getting sick. I pulled my collar up close around my neck and soldiered on. I kept thinking as I walked that this would just be a minor setback when I was homeless. I have walked through much more adverse conditions than this.
Mile seven found me walking up my driveway with my legs sore and balking. The rain was now falling at a steady rate and I made it home just in time to avoid a warm and raging downpour. I stretched as I pulled off my now soaking wet pull-over and then walked into the bathroom to blow dry and comb my hair. I looked in the mirror at the many weathered lines on my face. Each line had a story to tell about the hard life I had lived. I felt so old and as if I had just arrived home from the longest journey of my life. I sighed as I turned off my bathroom light and walked into the den to sit down by my heater as Maggie jumped up into my lap.
“I love you, girl,” I said as I petted her in the quiet still of the early morning as my mind jumped around to various topics and thoughts.
I felt so old and ancient as if I could be that ageless oak stalwartly guarding my driveway in the front of my yard. I’ve seen and experienced so much in 34 years.
“I feel so damn old,” I said aloud as all my various experiences in life weighed down upon me heavily. I feel so damn old.