Another short story by Ken Staley from his anthology ‘The Art of Ageing’ – pulished here with his permission.
Uncle Hugh and Aunt Emily looked like a matched set those graceful, porcelain salt and pepper collectibles that grace holiday tables. Withered and hammered by age, as long as they could reach out and touch each other, the world could crumble around them and they wouldn’t even have noticed. We could scarcely picture Aunt Emily without Uncle Hugh, her husband of more than seventy years.
This short story by Ken Staley is from his collection “The Art of Ageing” and published here with his permission.
I sit in this chair, day after day. Time passes, I’m convinced it must, but I take no note. The sky is always blue, the grass always new spring green and butterflies dance and chase each other from blossom to blossom. And that pond, always there, waiting. There is music here, always. Not their music, but our music. Songs, my Carol, songs you so deeply etched on my heart that those notes echo as long as I breathe, as long as my eyes can still see – you.
Oh, others stop now and then, and speak about me as though I do not exist and cannot hear them. I feel their pity and sense their shame. Words they have for each other – adult words – to salve their guilt. “Poor man – does no one come to visit?” “What does he find so interesting out that window?” “How can he sit here day after day after day?”