The Pier, the Birds and the Moment

sea-pier-fog-mist

This evocative piece appeared in the long-running blog, Time Goes By, created by Ronni Bennett. Melancholy, funny, and tuned in to the small moments of life.


An airplane sneaks through the fog over Lac St. Louis.
Canada geese sing homecoming harmonies.
I’m in my car, staring at the lake where we swam as kids.
The lake ice has melted.
The water is high.
Another plane tiptoes in.
A man sits in his car, reading.
We’re two cars, side by side, on the pier.
He looks at me, nods and smiles.
I smile and nod back.
I sip my coffee and think about a jumble of senior words overheard at the local coffee spot.
Words like this:
“My friend is in the hospital. She can’t move from the neck down. She may never walk again. The doctors are doing tests. I call her every night. A nurse puts the phone by her ear.”
“He’s 94 years old, driving without a license. His doctor refused to sign the paper. I should notify the police. He’s going to kill himself or someone else. If the cops pull him over, it’s gonna be game over. Maybe it’s just gossip. What should I do?”
“Her world has become smaller since she moved into that senior home.”
“No car. No visits. No garden.”
“Everything is in the past.”
“So listen to this: My three neighbors help each other, even though they are not related. One woman cuts lawns, the other one cooks and the boyfriend repairs stuff. They found a way to age in place.”
“Ah, I know who you mean. She walks the ILR halls and knocks on doors. Sometimes she puts her thumb over the peephole so you can’t see who is there. She’s losing it.”
A ship passes. It’s going somewhere.
But where are we going?
More words:
“I’m not sitting there.”
“I don’t like that man.”
“I want to bop him one.”
“Now Sam, you know a bop too far becomes a boom.”
“Yeah, I know that.”

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