I know about fifty people. I mean, I know more than fifty, but that’s about the number I’ve spent time with and feel somewhat close to. I used to know more, but when you get old, things happen.
Anyway, the fifty and I are now walking along the road like we’ve always done, like everyone does. The road used to have a lot of twists and turns but now it just goes straight to the horizon. We trudge along, exchanging pleasantries, stopping for lunch and naps, keeping a steady but relaxing pace. Some of us are holding hands with someone else. Occasionally one says goodbye and lays down. The rest of us keep on walking.
There are few surprises. We are basically finished with our lifetime allotment of surprises. There is no question of what is coming next.
As the days go by the group gets smaller. Eventually we’re down to a handful. Then it’s only my wife and me. We say I love you to each other. Finally, there’s just me.
I don’t hear anything but my own footsteps. The fog is settling in, and it’s harder to see the trees and landscapes along the side the road. There are no shadows, there is no color. I know it’s death I’m nearing, but it doesn’t feel like I’m dying. It just feels like I’m walking, like an almost blind man, step by step by step.
My pace is slower and slower.
I’m not angry, I’m not in pain, I’m not scared.
Eventually, I’m just….not.