October 30, 2018

Footstone

It’s a late rainy rainy afternoon, the kind that zaps all your spirit right out of you, the raindrops bopping and dropping on your head in some weird kind of time signature that you might find in some improvisational jazz song...bouncing off your soul and leaving a puddle somewhere within...it gets dark early this time of year but it’s getting even darker even earlier on a day like today...it seems the whole world is just having a down kind of day...your not supposed to but I take a right turn at metal gates which are a little rusty and bent here and there and have seen better days and their forlornly open and inviting me so I find myself cutting through the cemetery to save some time while walking home...the cemetery can be a quiet place to go to think, or to just get away from the craziness of all things in this world and have some peace...and on some days, it’s a nice shortcut to my place...some headstones so ornate like a piece of art and well maintained and flowered and others not so much...forgotten, uncared for, maybe there’s nobody left in this old world that remembers what old body is buried there…so I’m walking past a footstone that’s choked with weeds and matted with leaves and for some reason it piques my interest...I stop, but the rain doesn’t...just who were you I wonder?...what were you like, what kind of person were you?...I clear away some of the weeds and leaves and see you lived 55 years on this planet, in this existence...so you weren’t young when you died and you weren’t old either...I wonder what you did for a living, although I’m not the kind of person who judges people on what they were or what they weren’t, I was just curious...maybe you were a plumber, or an office worker, or you worked in a warehouse standing on your feet eight hours a day in a sweatbox or freezer...you were maybe on the 13th or 14th hole of life when the storms came and washed out your game...or maybe you just got tired and headed for the clubhouse on your own...nothing wrong with that...did you have a family?...if so, I wonder where they are...do they not care, are they creeped out by cemeteries, or maybe they don’t live close...maybe you weren’t that nice a guy, but standing by your grave today, I like to think that you were an good fellow on the whole, did your best...maybe your daughter Anna who could be very difficult to deal with and who sadly you weren’t that close to in life, got a job in Ohio and left town and you only talked to her on birthdays and around the holidays...and no, she couldn’t make it year after year to get together for dinner...and she never invited you...and your son Harry got married and moved to California and it was hard for him to get back and visit you what with his wife and kids being terminally busy, and maybe your wife went with to be by him, or her...or maybe she just drifted out of your life for some reason, your fault, her fault, maybe nobody’s fault, sometimes fault is an orphan...sometimes people grow apart like branches on a tree...or maybe worse, maybe she somehow died before you did...I look at the stones next to you though and nobody’s name matches yours...I don’t know...maybe you were a lone wolf...your parents are long gone and you just never found somebody you could get close to or wanted to get close to...I laugh to myself that I’m standing here in this cold rain thinking all these things…dreaming up these life stories that probably don’t even come close to what your life was really about, but on this dank and dreary October day, I just wanted to let you know that someone stopped to clean your footstone off and that somebody was thinking about you even if in reality they didn’t know you.