Wednesday, August 3, 2005


llustration Friday's Topic: Aging

I didn't have anything to draw, and then this morning I glanced out my window.

His car pulled up to the front of my curb. He moved slowly forward about five inches. Brakes abruptly. Backs up about two inches. Another hard brake and his car dips. He slowly moves forward another inch. Then back another inch. Then forward three more inches.

He pulls himself out of his car and the slowness of it all, makes me stop and watch. He walks s-l-o-w-l-y toward his trunk. At first, I thought he stopped and was was just looking down the street. But gradually, I could see he was making some sort of headway. He moved as if he was gliding on wheels. Just small, gentle tiny steps. One foot in front of the other. Just ever so slowly.

He gets to the trunk and opens it. He bends into it and I can only see his waist as he reaches in for something in the far back. Slowly, he pulls it out.

It's one of those dashboard sun protectors. He unfolds it and then turns to walk the same slow walk back to the front of his car. He glides into the front seat and with all the time in the world, he places the sun protector on his dashboard and moves it this way and that way, up and back an inch or two, until he has it placed exactly how he wants it.

He sits for a moment and then climbs back out. I watch him turn toward the back of his trunk and s-l-o-w-l-y meanders back to his trunk. When he gets there, he reaches in and pulls out a cap.

He places it on his head. Moves it around a bit. Takes it back off. Then back on. He moves it left and right until it has the perfect fit. Shuts the trunk and slowly wanders over to the passenger side. Puts his key in and locks the door. Then walks back to his drivers side and does the same.

I am still wondering why he is parked in front of my house. Is he coming to visit me? I am not sure I am in the mood for this man's visit.

I am relieved to watch him walk nextdoor to my neighbor's house.

They are not at home.

Three minutes later, I see the old man slowly walking back to his car. I can't bare to watch him slowly repeat the same process all over again. I peek with just one eye hidden behind my hands.

He has driven off.

Aging. The slowing down process. He has more than enough time to go where he is going.

I whispered: "be safe". I have this feeling ... he is.


Carolyn said...

Your story was kind of funny, yet sad at the same time. The irony is he actually DOESN'T have all the time in the world... when we are young we have time, although we make our lives so "busy" with stuff it doesn't feel that way.
It is a great story though, and I really like your illo!

Toni said...

I love your story and your illo.
He was deffinately persistant. Sure hope he was safe going home.

kay susan said...

Excellent. I live next door to an old boy just like that! Nice illustration, great story.

Cindy said...

Great picture! You really captured that "old man" attitude. (You gotta wonder if maybe he's one of those seniors who probably shouldn't be driving any more.)

danny said...

Great story! Maybe next time when he shows up, someone will be home and his persistence will pay off.

Julie Oakley said...

I love your illustrations and the accompanying stories. I've been telling your 'Karma' story all week.