As I was walking out the door, I looked back and turned to ask if he wanted anything for me to bring back. But the question thrown was unrequited although he was facing toward my direction. The stares were hallowed, but definitely not empty, as if his thoughts were elsewhere distant, undisclosed and unknown even to the visitor himself.
On the bedroom side table sat a perspiring glass of cold water that resembled a window pane on a cold rainy day. Its life was refuted by the stack of past dated panorama magazines, sandy old newspapers and the emptied coffee cups with their stained ceramic coasters. And though it appeared that the drink was only fitting to remedy the hot afternoon weather, the readied beverage somehow implied not to be needed at the time, that the quench yearned for was not to be passed through the drought and the landlocked throat of this weathered bedridden character, but instead, of another it seemed.
He had a decent height, he came from a good family line. The soles of his feet were callused by resolve and the red baked earth of his heritage. And his proud appearance still surfaced despite his aged and battered state. Though often times visited by pain, he still held his head high above the stained pillows of saliva and antibiotics. He remembered his youth, gawking at the ceiling beams — his own time machine — reliving the years of working every day on their tangerine farmlands, as he found solace in these dire achievements that nobody but him ever celebrated.
The air was filled with the smell of antiseptic. The lazy wooden fan blades cut through the spaces under the plywood ceilings, and the grimy mirror held no reflection.
His hands and arms were tired, the skin was sallow, but built strong by time. His shoulder blades boasted like the wide-spanned-wings of an eagle’s, imposing that they can withstand the discerning winds of the open skies.
“Oh, how time swiftly takes away what was lent” he feebly exclaimed.
Through the half-open door, I took one last look at him, and it was just a split-second glance really, but it felt infinitely stretched. And in this timeless vacuum of space, I lived through these flashes of fond memories I had of him. It was like listening to a two-minute song that carried all the answers in the world. I set sails to entwine with the days of yesteryears, on how perpetually dependent I was on him, growing up like a seedling inching my way towards the blue ocean skies, how my ears were sculpted like wooden dippers for wisdom, and how I was emptied to refill.
And as I pulled the door back, gently twisting the unpolished brass knob clockwise hoping not to make a sound, my flooded eyes bade farewell as this view narrowed, knowing that his vessel can never, anymore, hold in together the entirety of him. For he is a lot more, more than this world could ever have prepared for.